A Powerful Story of Nonviolence and Parenting

This story by Arun Gandhi, grandson of Mahatma Gandhi, is one of the most powerful examples of effective parenting I have ever heard. By one simple act, his father taught him a critically important lesson that, unfortunately, many people never grasp.

arun-gandhi

Arun Gandhi

When I was sixteen years old, we lived in South Africa about eighteen miles outside the city. One Saturday my father had to go to town to attend a conference and he didn’t feel like driving so he asked me if I would drive him into town and bring him back in the evening. My parents also gave me many small chores to do in town, like getting the car serviced and the oil changed.

When I left my father at the conference venue, he said, “At five o’clock in the evening, come here and pick me up, and we’ll go home together.”

I said, “Fine.” I rushed off, did all my chores as quickly as possible, left the car in the garage—and went straight to the nearest movie theatre. I got so engrossed in a double feature that I didn’t realize the passage of time. The movie ended at 5:30, and I came out and ran to the garage and rushed to where Dad was waiting for me. It was almost six o’clock when I reached there and he was wondering what had happened to me. The first question he asked me was, “Why are you late?”

Instead of telling him the truth, I lied to him, and I said, “The car wasn’t ready; I had to wait for the car,” not realizing that he had already called the garage.

When he caught me in the lie, he said, ‘There’s something wrong in the way I brought you up that didn’t give you the confidence to tell me the truth, that made you feel you had to lie to me. I’ve got to find out where I went wrong with you, and to do that I’m going to walk home.” There was absolutely nothing I could do to make him change his mind—and I couldn’t leave him and go away. For five and a half hours I crawled along in the car behind Father, watching him go through all this pain and agony for a stupid lie. I decided then and there that I was never going to lie again.

It’s almost fifty years since the event, and every time I think about it I still get goose bumps. That is the power of nonviolent action. It’s a lasting thing. It’s a change we bring through love, not fear. Anything that is brought by fear doesn’t last. But anything that is done by love lasts forever.





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ABOUT PHIL BOLSTA

Through God’s Eyes: Finding Peace and Purpose in a Troubled World, is a road map for living a more peaceful, beautiful life. It’s the one book that explains how dozens of spiritual principles interact, how to weave them together into a cohesive worldview, and how to practically apply this spiritual wisdom to daily life.

Who will benefit from reading Through God’s Eyes?
Anyone who is on a spiritual path, or wants to start one.
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Phil’s eBook, The Logic of Living a Spiritual Life: Supporting a Life of Faith Through Logic and Reason, is now available for 99 cents.

Order it at GodIsLogical.com.

In this eBook, you’ll find answers to questions like:
• What is the cornerstone of a spiritual life, and why?
• What is the secret to liberating yourself from other people’s judgments and expectations?
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• Why is there an exception to “Everything happens for a reason”?


Those who worship logic instead of God are only half right. Not only is it logical to believe in God and to live a faith-based life, the existence of a loving, benevolent God that governs all creation is perhaps the only systematic worldview that explains every aspect of life.



SiSe_fullcover_final.inddPhil is also the author of Sixty Seconds: One Moment Changes Everything, a collection of 45 inspiring, life-changing stories from prominent authors and thought leaders he interviewed. The roster of storytellers includes Wayne Dyer, Deepak Chopra, Neale Donald Walsch, Caroline Myss, Larry Dossey, Rachel Naomi Remen, Bernie Siegel, Dean Ornish, and Christiane Northrup. Sixty Seconds has been translated into four languages: Italian, German, Spanish, and Portuguese. Reading this book is like spending a few minutes face to face with each of the contributors and listening to their personal stories.

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One Response to “A Powerful Story of Nonviolence and Parenting”

  1. Erin Says:

    Very powerful!

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