Monday, January 28, 2008

Swaraj


I've been reading The Essential Gandhi (edited by Louis Fischer), and have emerged with both guilt and hope. Guilt because I recognize the truth about my complicity with consumer culture, but hope because of the strength a non-violent, self-sufficient, and power-resistant mindset affords.

I've been trying to think about how the concept of Swaraj (independence, beginning with self) applies to some of the power-structures I interact with: family/social, classroom/school/district, community/society. Also the identities of self, space, and landscapes (natural, human, and imagined). For example. what my classroom look like if I refused to exercise coercion in any form? What would our school's interaction with the district be like if we engaged in passive resistance to the policies and language which are ill-conceived for our context and collective goals? I often think that there are many fights which deserve my involvement, mostly educational crusades of one kind or another, but I'll admit that my motive is often not peace , love, and understanding so much as exposing bizarre thinking and thoughtless action in others with the hope that they'll leave me/us/them alone. Hmm... I'll read some more Gandhi before I pick this up again... the sleeping anarchist in me needs more time.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

good luck with that!

Lewis said...

A first step to clearer thinking may be to free yourself from the uniform of the capitalist and don a Gandhi cap and dhoti. If nothing else it would get people talking.