“What is essential is invisible to the eye.”

Published: February 3, 2023

By Jim Lichtman
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A2FP81 Rare studio photograph of Mahatma Gandhi taken in London England UK at the request of Lord Irwin 1931

Violence, upheaval throughout much of the world, what would Mohandas “Mahatma” Gandhi, the father of nonviolent resistance, say?

This week marks the 75th anniversary of Gandhi’s death at the hands of an assassin on his way to a prayer service in Delhi. While Gandhi was an anti-colonialist who practiced and taught his followers non-violent resistance to deal with injustice, Gandhi was also a political ethicist—a term I had not heard of before yesterday.

Wikipedia defines political ethics as “the practice of making moral judgments about political action and political agents”; something members of Congress may wish to revisit.

Nonetheless, Gandhi’s nonviolent resistance and his faith in others who practiced it has been utilized around the world, most notably by the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. In speaking to his followers about overcoming the hatred and violence directed at Blacks, King said, “He who passively accepts evil is as much involved in it as he who helps to perpetrate it. He who accepts evil without protesting against it is really cooperating with it.”

In honor of both men who stood by truth no matter the resistance, here are some of the words by both that can inspire us in facing the darkness of spirit.

“Faith is taking the first step even when you don’t see the whole staircase.”—King

“Even if you are a minority of one, the truth is the truth.”—Gandhi

“Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.”—King

“You must not lose faith in humanity. Humanity is an ocean; if a few drops of the ocean are dirty, the ocean does not become dirty.”—Gandhi

“The function of education is to teach one to think intensively and to think critically. Intelligence plus character – that is the goal of true education.”—King, Jr.

“An eye for an eye only ends up making the whole world blind.”—Gandhi

“We must learn to live together as brothers or perish together as fools.”—King

“An ounce of practice is worth more than tons of preaching.”—Gandhi

“Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, ‘What are you doing for others?’”—King

“You must be the change you wish to see in the world.”—Gandhi

What is essential is invisible to the eye.—Antoine de Saint-Exupéry


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