Monday, March 17, 2014
See Nipun Mehta
Where do we find Gandhi today?
"What rises up like a fountain, will return in the form of many distributed drops," Vinoba used to say. That's what we're seeing today. We call it "Gandhi 3.0", where Gandhi stands for the age-old principle of leading with inner transformation and 3.0 represents the many-to-many networks that are popularized by the modern-day Internet. It's a bridge from the Internet to the Inner-Net.
On Gandhi's death anniversary, we held a gathering of sixty inspired "ladders" who responded to the call: "You will not find these heroes on TV. They don't seek glory, nor do they wear any uniforms. Sometimes they do normal jobs but they are often doing the real work in subtle and invisible ways. They refuse any kind of payment for that priceless labor of love. These volunteers arrive in a thousand different shapes and sizes. Most work silently. Slowly they are building a new world, leading with the heart, but also engaging hands and head. They move to a different beat, with the common understanding that being the change, changes the being. This is the transformative force that can move worlds. The work is slow and meticulous, like the formation of mountains. That's a good thing, because while we build the road, the road builds us."
The retreat was profoundly moving. In one of the circles, Prasad shared: "I came in here and one of the volunteers said, ‘Welcome Home.’ I thought, ‘Oh, that’s a nice thought.’ Except I didn’t bring my towel and someone found out and a towel appeared on my bed with a Smile Card. I had Western shoes that were inconvenient to take off outside each hall (as it is the local culture here), and someone left me flip-flops in my room. I don’t eat onion or garlic and at every meal, volunteers would offer me a special meal.” With tears in his eyes, he concluded: “I’m not sure I’d be treated like this even at my own home. Few days ago, I came here as an expert, and I’m leaving here feeling like a beginner."
Harsh gave away his shawl, with a letter that made many of us tear up. An anonymous person from Texas was so moved by the caliber of the guests, that he unloaded his bank balance as a "no strings attached" donation to the circle -- without ever having met any of the participants, volunteers or organizers. Lots of insights. As we closed with 3-steps-and-a-bow, Ellie rocked us with a surprise video of various moments from our few days together. Since the event, already hundreds of ripples have emerged, as grassroots groups and corporations and education institutions and even some government groups have started to innovate around the "Gandhi 3.0" idea.
- See more at: http://www.servicespace.org/blog/view.php?id=14446#sthash.jB9dUzL5.dpuf