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Gandhi's Seven Blunders of the World

 article about mohandas gandhi
2013-05-20
Mohandas Gandhi was convinced much of the violence in society and in our personal lives stem from the passive violence that we commit against each other. He described these acts of passive violence as the Seven Blunders of the World or the Seven Social Sins. This list was published in a newspaper called Young India. Mohandas gave this list to his grandson Arun Gandhi before Mohandas was assassinated.

The Seven Blunders are:

  1. Wealth without Work. This includes playing the stock market, gambling, drawing exorbitant salaries which are not always commensurate with the work they do. Gandhi's idea originates from the ancient Indian practice of Tenant Farmers (Zamindari). The poor were made to work on the farms while the rich raked in the profits. With capitalism and materialism spreading so rampantly around the world the gray area between an honest day's hard work and sitting back and profiting from other people's labor is growing wider. Gandhi believed that people should take only as much as they honestly need and that there is enough for everyone's need but not for everyone's greed.
  2. Pleasure without Conscience. This is connected to wealth without work. Bored people find imaginative and dangerous ways of bringing excitement to their dull lives. Their search for pleasure and excitement often ends up costing society very heavily. Taking drugs and unsafe sex cause avoidable health problems that cost the world hundreds of billions of dollars in direct and indirect health care facilities. Many of these problems are self-induced or ailments caused by careless attitudes.
  3. Knowledge without Character. People's obsession with materialism tends to make them more concerned about acquiring knowledge so that they can get a better job and make more money. A lucrative career is preferred to an illustrious character. Gandhi believed that school emphasizes more on career building than character building and proper education must not ignore character building.
  4. Commerce without Morality. As in wealth without work, greedy people indulge in commerce without morality to make more money by any means possible. Price gouging, cutting salaries of employees, palming off inferior products, cheating and making false claims are a few of the obvious ways in which we indulge in commerce without morality. There are also thousands of other ways in which greedy people do immoral or unethical business.
  5. Science without Humanity. This is science used to discover increasingly more gruesome weapons of destruction that threaten to eventually wipe out humanity. The NRA says gun don't kill people, people kill people. What they do not say is that if people didn't have guns they wouldn't have the capacity of killing as quickly or as easily. Hunting is a good example for this because hunting is the most insensitive and dehumanizing sport on earth.
  6. Worship without Sacrifice. One person's faith is another person's fantasy because religion has been reduced to meaningless rituals practiced mindlessly. Temples, churches, mosques and synagogues and those entrusted with the duty of interpreting religion to lay people seek to control through fear of hell and damnation. In the name of God they spawned more hate and violence than any government. True religion is based on spirituality, love, compassion, understanding and appreciation of each other whatever our beliefs may be.
  7. Politics without Principles. Gandhi said that those who firmly believed in nonviolence should never stand for elections, but they should elect representatives who are willing to understand and practice the philosophy. An elected representative is one on whom you have bestowed your power of attorney. Such person should be allowed to wield authority only as long as the people have their confidence on him/her. Partisan politics, lobbying, bribing and other forms of malpractice are so rampant with politicians. When politicians behave this way then they are acting without principles.

Gandhi believed that these seven blunders made our world a messy place. These blunders are the reasons why there are rebellions, injustice and violence happening in the world today. By exercising moderation and practicing what is right, then we can avoid these unwanted passive violence in the world.


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