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PHILOSOPHY > THE MIND OF MAHATMA GANDHI > Children

 

Children

IF I am to identify myself with the grief of the least in India, aye, if I have the power, the least in the world, let me identify myself with the sins of the little ones who are under my care. And so doing in all humility, I hope some day to see God-Truth-face to face. (YI, 3-12-1925, p. 422)

Character
Children inherit the qualities of their parents, no less than their physical features. environment does play an important part, part, but the original capital on which a child starts life is inherited from its ancestors. I have always seen children successfully surmounting the effect of evil inheritance. That is due to purity being an inherent attribute of the soul. (A, p. 230)


Children wrapped up in cotton wool are not always proof against all temptation or contamination.
(ibid, p. 252)


The real property that a parent can transmit to all equally is his or her character and educational facilities. Parents should seek to make their sons and daughters self reliant. Well able to earn an honest livelihood by the sweat of the brow. (YI, 17-10-1929, p. 340)

Lesson From Children
It is perfectly true, I must admit it in all humility, that however indifferently it may be, I endeavour to represent love in every fibre of my being. I am impatient to realize the presence of my Maker, who to me embodies Truth, and, in the early part of my career, I discovered that, if I was to realize Truth, I must obey, even at the cost of my life, the law of Love could be best understood and learned through little children.

I believe implicitly that the child is not born mischievous in the bad sense of the term. if parents would behave themselves whilst the child is growing, before it is born and after, it is a well-known fact that the child would instinctively obey the law of Truth and law of Love. And when I understood this lesson in the early part of my life, I began a gradual but distinct change in life……

And believe me, from my experience of hundreds, I was going to say thousands, of children, I know that they have perhaps a finer sense of honour than you and I have. The greatest lessons in life, if we would but stop and humble ourselves, we would learn not from grownup learned men, but from the so-called ignorant children.

Jesus never uttered a loftier or a grander truth than when he said that wisdom cometh out of the mouths of babes. I believe it. I have noticed it in my own experience that, if we would approach babes in humility and innocence, we would learn wisdom from them……
If we are to reach real peace in this world and if we are to carry on a real war against war, we shall have to begin with children; and if they will grow up in their natural innocence, we won’t have to struggle, we won’t have to pass fruitless idle resolutions. But we shall go from love to love and peace to peace, until at last all the corners of the world are covered with that peace and love for which, consciously or unconsciously, the whole world is hungering. (YI, 19-11-1931, p. 361)