Today marks the sixtieth anniversary of Gandhi‘s assassination. His ashes, with Hindu custom, have been mixed with the ocean and sent to sea.
I remember spending months researching his life, his mission, and his death – one of those all-consuming semester projects that usurped the Spring of fourth grade. Back then, Gandhi was my hero, my guiding light. I read his letters, read accounts of his friends and family, craved reaching the same unattainable goals in my life; peace, fulfillment of humankind’s potential, discussion over conflict. I quoted the man in my speech at graduation (as I am sure most people do in one speech or another).
It wasn’t until I left for India that I really understood his work, or him for that matter. Americans exclaim that he brought together his country and his people – but India remains as divided as ever, as does the world. India loves it’s Mahatma, but there is still a person behind the symbol that Gandhi has been forged into. Simply, a person – flawed, raw, and full of emotion. Ultimately, his humanity is what fascinates me the most. That the unattainable he was searching for was became a capability, and perhaps that my unattainable goals are not invincible either. I have felt the impact that I have created, experienced first hand what belief, what determination, and what the dedication of one person could achieve.
We are so much to so many, and there needs no national holiday, no day of remembrance to understand that. I wish the people who have changed my life could see what they have done. I wish my life could be laid out and show the changes in its course. I am beyond thankful – at this point I don’t even know how to start.
maybe I should just start with you. Thank you.