Daily Archives: August 30, 2014

Clarifying Gandhi #2: the Machine and the Village

One of the big areas of confusion about Gandhi, are his views on technology and machines, and how they relate to his ideals. This angle on Gandhi, like the food-chain, finds building-blocks with duty, varna (social ordering), trusteeship, his vows of non-possession and non-stealing, education, and much more. Indeed, to paraphrase one of our great American sages, John Muiri, it is difficult to pull out a single subject in Gandhi’s thought, without finding that it is hitched to everything else.

For Gandhi, his views on machines were guided by his certainty that:

“God of truth and justice can never create distinctions of high and low among His own children.”ii

At age 55, Gandhi returned to India in 1915, after nearly 27 years abroad in UK and South Africa. Industrialization had dawned heavily in the western nations, noisily processing the spoils of resources and labor from the colonies. His two community experiments in South Africa had shown him the value of communal living in pursuit of high ideals, bodily labor for the common good, simplicity, austerity, and a close relationship with Nature. Continue reading →

M.K. Gandhi

Clarifying Gandhi’s Earth Ethics

Many people think that Gandhi stands for vegetarianism, and passive resistance. Yet does he really? What did his stance on these topics really mean?

Gandhi (1869-1948) was an evolutionary revolutionary. He kept on reforming and expanding his outlook and personal philosophy throughout his life. You can find a Gandhi quote to back up anything. Yet of his written works, at age 63, Gandhi said: Continue reading →

Principles and Guidelines for Starting and Running an Organization by Kerstin Utas

Business and education are two huge forces propelling individuals and society into action. In trying to understand the right role of business, and righteous business creation, we have uncovered many gems, and found new paths.

In life, we meet so many heroines and heroes.  We had the great fortune to meet Kerstin Utas (1946 – 2013), whom we fondly called Justine, as justice seemed so much part of her nature and personality. Justine was part of the initial working group in Sweden that started Humana People to People.

She was a person devoted to action, to getting things done, rather than time wasting, shoulder-patting committee meetings.

I only knew her for the last 10 years of her life, and recognized always that I was in the company of someone with great depths, with much to offer, as yet, unexpressed.  We sought out her thinking in India, and later in Sweden, on business creation that would have as its goal the upliftment of society.  At my urging, she wrote down the guidelines and principles that she and her friends humbly followed to create Humana People to People, now a multinational organization.

Continue reading →