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From being positive to learning to forgive, kids can learn many valuable life lessons from the teaching of Mahatma Gandhi. We bring you 10 important ones
Mahatma Gandhi - the name conjures up images of one man's greatness and sacrifice to achieve the happiness of millions. Born as Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi on 2 October, 1869, Gandhi worked tirelessly, and at a great cost to himself, for the freedom of India.
He is one icon who is loved and respected by people across the globe. Not only did he work tirelessly for the freedom of the nation from the rule of the British but the teachings of Mahatma Gandhi have inspired generations of people, including children.
This Gandhi Jayanthi, teach your children valuable life lessons about peace, non-violence, honesty, and more.
Let us look at 10 simple teachings of Mahatma Gandhi that teach valuable life lessons, and are appropriate for children of all ages.
1. Live life to the fullest
It's the quality of your life that matters, not the speed with which you live.
In this age of technology, where everything moves at a fast pace, let's make sure our children lead productive lives, rather than rushing through the motions of everyday life. Fill your child's days with interesting activities and make sure he spends some time outdoors to indulge in free play.
2. Always speak the truth
Even if you are a minority of one, the truth is the truth.
Whether it's telling a little white lie or lying by omission, sometimes children fib as they believe that it will save them from getting into trouble. Teach your child that it's important to speak and stand for the truth, no matter the consequences. Because, while telling a little lie may save her from immediate trouble, the price she may have to pay for it later may be too heavy.
3. Let the change begin with you
You must be the change you wish to see in the world.
We often complain about the system or the rules that we have to follow. But, before changing the system, it's important that we see within ourselves and try to fix our faults. Help your child reflect on the little things she can do to make something better, and encourage her to do it. After all, actions speak louder than words.
4. Believe in love
The day the power of love overrules the love of power, the world will know peace.
As your child grows up, she will come across many people from different backgrounds - based on ethnicity, language, religion, and so on. Teach her to love and respect every individual and not form biases based on her own background. Before you teach her this lesson, make sure that your own personal prejudices don't influence her in any way. Be a good role model for your child and she'll learn from you.
5. Think before you act
The future depends on what you do today.
This statement by Gandhi teaches us that we are responsible for our future, as our actions in the present determine the future. Each simple act or decision matters. Teach your child that every action has a consequence and he must always think about what he is going to do before he puts it into action.
6. Live to learn
Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever.
This statement by Gandhi teaches us to be lifelong learners and to remember to enjoy every moment of learning and living. Each experience in life teaches us something new and your child must always be ready to learn both inside and outside the classroom. As parents, you could ensure that she utilizes every opportunity that comes her way to learn something new.
7. Be positive
A man is but the product of his thoughts. What he thinks, he becomes.
A positive attitude toward life is the key to achieving goals. Tell your child that, in life, he may have to face many struggles and go through a few hard times. But, he could learn to look at the silver lining and be hopeful. Tell him how Gandhi faced several tough situations but approached them all with determination, and remained resolute about his goal - to gain independence for India.
8. Learn to forgive
An eye for an eye will only make the whole world blind.
When one is wronged, it's natural to want to retaliate. But help your child see that revenge or retaliation does not right a wrong Tell him why it's important to learn to forgive. Even though Gandhi suffered a lot under the British, instead of taking up arms against them, he chose the path of non-violence and came out as the winner.
9. Be true to yourself
A 'No' uttered from the deepest conviction is better than a 'Yes' merely uttered to please, or worse, to avoid trouble.
Like Gandhi, it's important to be true to yourself, no matter what the consequences are. Teach your child to stand up for what is right and what she believes in, even if it displeases a few people. Tell her that she must never fear the result of her actions when she is upholding what is right and just.
10. Care for Mother Earth
Earth provides enough to satisfy every man's needs, but not every man's greed.
Mahatma Gandhi was a great believer in the power of nature and Mother Earth. He believed that every individual should behave responsibly towards the environment to protect and nurture it. Teach your child this valuable lesson so he grows up to be a person who not only believes in looking after Mother Earth but also encourages others to take up environment-friendly initiatives.