inconsistent messages

January 21, 2010

I love this piece of writing from one of the most influential men who ever lived – Mohandas K. Gandhi. It is a message to the readers of his publication “Towards New education”.

“I would like to say to the diligent reader of my writings and to others who are interested in them that I am not at all concerned with appearing to be consistent. In my search after Truth I have discarded many ideas and learnt many new things. Old as I am in age, I have no feeling that I have ceased to grow inwardly or that my growth will stop at the dissolution of the flesh. What I am concerned with is my readiness to obey the call of Truth, my God, from moment to moment, and, therefore, when anybody finds any inconsistency between any two writings of mine, if he has still faith in my sanity, he would do well do choose the later of the two on the same subject.”
Harijan, 29-4-’33

Too often we go through life clinging to our past opinions or decisions even when we know them to be wrong. All because of the fear of appearing weak-minded due to inconsistency. How beautiful is Gandhi’s teaching above? It would be ridiculous to believe that we have rock-solid opinions and morals. We are constantly evolving and must never allow our ego to keep us still. We are like healthy water – always moving and brimming with energy. Stagnant water, on the other hand, tends to have a bad smell.


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