February 22NextPrevious   

“Trusteeship and Nonviolence”–Daily Metta

“Those who own money now, are asked to behave like trustees holding their riches on behalf of the poor.”

-–Gandhi (Modern Review, October 1935, p. 412)

(Image: Gandhi used to raise funds for those without resources to meet their basic needs, while at train stations during his travels.). Gandhi was convinced that it was useless to demand that people give up their wealth, as some socialists in the freedom struggle felt should happen. His answer instead was trusteeship: seeing our wealth and possessions as tools for service, not exploitation. Gandhi was the perfect example of a trustee in action: millions of rupees passed through his hands, and he never considered any of it his, owning only a few possessions at the time of death. Our security lies in the good of the community. And when some people cannot meet even their basic needs while others have more than enough, we still have work to do. The minute we begin thinking that our security comes from personal possessions and the accumulation of wealth for private pleasures, we actually become less so. Depending upon changing external circumstances can never make a person secure. Real wealth, real joy, begins with the realization that nothing on Earth really belongs to us alone.

Experiment in Non-violence

Notice how often we find ourselves thinking or saying ‘mine.’ Try correcting some of them, looking on some former possessions as a trust. Eventually this can extend beyond just material things to include our time, talents, etc.

The Metta Center for Nonviolence, PO Box 98, Petaluma, California 94953 707-774-6299 info@mettacenter.org