North Carolina Newspapers

    Meredith Herald
Volume XI, Issue 24
April 5, 1995
Raleigh, North Carolina
Hull lecturer brings message of peace to Meredith
by Christina Peoples
photos by Jetsoii
The auditopum was crowded with
students, staff, faculty and friends of
the Meredith
community fora
message of
peace andhop'e
for the worid’s
future. Conver
sation and greet
ings filled the
room as the
crowd waited
for the speaker
to arrive.
Social activ
ist and author,
Dr. Arun Gandhi, grandson of Mahatma
Gandhi, brought his message of non
violence and solutions for the future to
Meredith College on March 29 in a
crowded Jones Auditorium. His lec
ture entitled “Non-Violence or Non-
Existence: Options for the 21st Cen
tury” was a part of the Jo Welch Hull
Lecture Series On Faith and Life In a
Changing World and in cooperation
with the Convocation Committee.
The lecture series is sponsored in
honor of Jo Welch Hull, a prestigious
Meredith alumnae and religion major,
who has devoted her life to the promo
tion of education. She is currently an
education consultant in Greensboro
and works with the Piedmont Inter
faith Council of which she was the co
founder. Hull, her husband and one of
her three sons were present at the
The auditorium quickly grew silent
as Dr. Eloise Grathwohl introduced
Gandhi, and Rev. Sam Corothers led
the audience in the invocation.
Corothers called on the audience mem
bers to reflect on their roles as peace
makers and to focus on justice, mercy
and tolerance.
Gandhi began his lecture with an
audience-participation game. Heasked
members of the audience to find part
ners and have one person make a fist
and the other to open the partner’s
fist. Everyone immediately began tug
ging at the closed fingers of his or her
Gandhi taught the audience the
first lesson in non-violence. He had
only asked the partner to try to open
the fist, but no members ever asked
their partners
if they would
open the fist
themselves. In
stead, they re
sorted to vio
cation is the
key to stop
ping violence,
said Gandhi.
When he was
ten years old,
Gandhi was beaten because of the
color of his skin when he lived in
South Africa. His
parents sent him
to live with his
grandfather in
1946 at age 12
to fight the rage
that had filled
“The 18
months I spent
with him laid the
foundation for
my understand
ing of his phi
losophy and
way of life,” said Gandhi.
He expressed that although soci
ety thinks that it helps to build more
prisons and lock the criminals up, we
need to understand how to deal with
the problems. People have an inability
to build solid relationships because
they have forgotten how to communi
cate and understand each other.
“Anger is like electricity because if
we abuse electricity, everything
around us will be destroyed and burned
down,” said Gandhi. “But this same
powerful, deadly energy is in our
homes and work places and is used for
the good of humanity because we use
it with intelligence, respect and un
derstanding. Anger is the same thing. ”
Gandhi suggested that people keep
an anger journal because they can “let
the anger flow onto the paper” and
“have a written record of their emo
People need to understand the vio
lence they practice themselves through
hate, discrimination and oppression.
However, instead they are focused on
the physical violence between nations,
communities and criminals, said
Gandhi also suggested that people
build a tree of violence. Violence is
written at the top of a big sheet of paper
and branched into its two forms: physi
cal and passive. Every day of a person’s
experience he or she can add examples
of each of these kinds of violence that
they encounter.
“It is a tremendous eye opener to
learn the extent of violence we prac
tice all the time,” he ^id. “Only when
we learn the ex-
can we under
stand how to
prevent it.”
Gandhi lived
with his grand
father, he did
not attend resi
dential school
and was taught
at home in
stead. He was
given a note
book and pencil for his lessons, and
when the pencil was about three inches
long, he threw it
in the bushes and
went to his grand
father for a new
one. He thought
like most grandfa
thers that he
would open the
drawer and give
him a new pencil.
“Not my
grandfather,” said
Gandhi. “He sub
jected me to a line
of questions and told me to go out and
look for the pencil. 1 thought he must
be joking, but he was serious and got a
flashlight for me.”
Gandhi found the pencil and
brought it happily back to his grandfe-
ther, thinking that it was so small, his
grandfather would have to agree with
him and give him a new pencil, he said.
He did not get the new pencil, but
he did learn two important lessons
about the worid. Ma^g the pencil
used some of the world’s resources,
and when he threw it away, he com
mitted violence against nature. Because
people waste things that are readily
available, they over-consume, and
someone somewhere else is denied
these things, which is violent aggres
sion gainst human beings.
“The gap between rich nations and
poor nations is so great that it is almost
unbridgeable,” he said.
Gandhi laughed as he recalled that
after he taught this lesson to some
university students, every time they
found a pencil or pen they would bring
it to him.
He also told a story about a time
when he lied to his father. Instead of
getting mad at him, his father decided
to punish himself to figure out where
he had gone wrong raising his son.
Gandhi never lied again after that day,
he said, and he learned the lesson of
how non-violence can woric.
The last story he told was about
trying to see if his grandfather had
learned the lesson of anger. While his
grandfather was in important meet
ings, Gandhi continually bothered him
to give him his autograph, which his
money for to
fund his pro
His grand
father never
gave him the
even at the
insistence of
the men with
whom he was
meeting. Instead, he put his hand over
Gandhi’s mouth, pulled Gandhi’s head
see GANDHI page seven

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