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Mahatma Gandhi at 140:
A legacy of love
by Gerhard A. Fuerst

…of a great man: Mohandas Gandhi; it’s his 140th birthday today (b. 10/02/1869): A Man of the Millennium in my estimation. Yet, the impact of his legacy had also been compromised over time. He is still revered and respected, but the lessons taught by his example do not appear to have the same importance to people today.

So I can agree with Dhiraj Kataria’s (Wembley, Middlesex, England) reflection when speaking of India:

“Character, that most important of human qualities, is missing out of the civic society. It is there at personal levels, but not in public institutions and public policy,”

... a valid notion which is applicable also here in the USA, where actions based on greed and selfishness appear to be the norm in the circles of the powerful, the mighty and haughty, especially by those on the allegedly “conservative” side. Their rhetoric of human and family values is more propaganda for reasons of expediency and opportunism than real honesty. They preach about morality to others, but they do not practice what they preach!

When celebrating a great person’s memory, it invariably brings to mind the question about what your own legacy might be someday!? Possibly I had posted this poem previously, but I think is bears repeating, just as a reminder of Mahatma Gandhi, including for myself, to stay focused on the straight and narrow.

Greetings, Gerhard

Life is Worth Living!

Worried about aging?
Consider the following:

In most parts of the civilized world,
persons of advancing years
are revered, respected,
loved and admired,
and treated with
the kindness and consideration
they most certainly deserve,
and have earned!

So, despite all the many
halting and hazardous things
which invariably come with age,
such as aches, pains, infirmities,
a lessening of mobility and agility, etc…

the heart retains its value,
wisdom has its proven worth,
based on experience and life lived,
even with all the hardship and troubles
encountered along the way to senior status.

It is a treasure trove
beyond measurement and comparison.
Many things improve with age
in both quality and substance:

Art, music, literature, poetry, paintings,
wine, good whiskey, good memories,
family relations (if all goes well… )
friendship (if well-maintained… )
and so on…

Things to be grateful for
from sunrise to sunset…,

things to enjoy and appreciate…,
things to look forward to
from day to day:
feasts and festivities,
reasons for celebration,
both personal and patriotic,
holy days of faith,
gatherings of family and friends…
plans yet to be accomplished
and reflection on deeds done well…
hopes and aspirations,
yearnings and dreams…

Yes, a certain list of names
is gradually diminishing
in both size and length.

Alas, life is not everlasting.
We can ultimately only hope
to have lived a life
of purpose, of peace,
of dignity, of love,
of humanity, of decency,
of fairness and respect,
of honesty…,

and thus being able to leave a legacy
worthy of recollection, of remembrance,
and possibly even of emulation.
Then we could truly say
that it was all worth our while.

Gerhard A. Fürst

(edited 8/19/2009)

Post script:

Yes, I know,
some of our parts
had to be repaired,
or replaced over time.
In some places
we are more bionic than biotic.

Don’t let that trouble you.
Keep plugging away,
keep focused,
keep on living!

Stay on the chosen path
to perform deeds
of goodness and kindness.

Leave a legacy of love!


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