Since Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, jr.’s birthday is today and the holiday is coming up, I always think a lot about him, his words…and often this leads me to thinking about M.K. Gandhi, as well. Gandhi’s methods influenced King and Gandhi is fascinating. Plus, he had the additional “draw” of being a spinner, too. lol
Aside from the spinning stories, this one is my favorite so far:
Children loved visiting Gandhi. A little boy who was there one day, was greatly distressed to see the way Gandhiji was dressed. Such a great man yet he doesn’t even wear a shirt, he wondered.
“Why don’t you wear a kurta, Gandhi?” the little boy couldn’t help asking finally.
“Where’s the money, son?” Gandhi asked gently. “I am very poor. I can’t afford a kurta.”
The boy’s heart was filled with pity.
“My mother sews well”, he said. “She makes all my clothes. I’ll ask her to sew a Kurta for you.”
“How many Kurtas can your mother make?” Gandhiji asked.
“How many do you need?” asked the boy. “One, two, three…. she’ll make as many as you want.”
Gandhi thought for a moment. Then he said, “But I am not alone, son. It wouldn’t be right for me to be the only one to wear a kurta.”
“How many Kurtas do you need?” the boy persisted. “I’ll ask my mother to make as many as you want. Just tell me how many you need.”
“I have a very large family, son. I have forty crore brothers and sisters,” Gandhiji explained.
“Till every one of them has a kurta, how can I wear one? Tell me, can your mother make kurtas for all of them?
Till every one of them had a kurta to wear how could he wear one himself? After all the whole nation was Gandhi’s family, and he was the head of that family. He was their friend, their companion. What use would one kurta be to him?
Go watch, listen to, read, and think about Dr. King’s speech in honor of his birthday and your day off. 🙂