Reminders From Ghandi
As innovative ideas for reforming our legal system are heralded, featured in the NY Times and win grants and awards, I both celebrate that we are finally looking at a more compassionate way to resolve conflict and want to childishly shout, “I told you so!”
My ego steps up with anger that those in power during my years on the bench didn’t listen when I proposed many of the same ideas. A chief judge once told me “If the idea doesn’t come from the Court Adminstrator’s own head, it’s suspect.”
I also can feel an urge to compete with those who are being applauded. I want to be the one who designs the “best” program.
Fortunately, at those times, another part of me recalls Ghandi saying,
“I do not claim to have originated any new principle or doctrine. I have simply tried in my own way to apply the eternal truths to our daily life and problems… The opinions I have formed and the conclusions I have arrived at are not final. I may change them tomorrow. I have nothing new to teach the world. Truth and nonviolence are as old as the hills.” (from Ghandi: A Spiritual Journey by M.V. Kamath)
There is comfort knowing that truth and non-violence are “as old as the hills.” It’s a relief knowing there is nothing to dig for, nothing to discover, nothing to build. My voice and my experience are no more and no less than others’. When I share my voice and add my perspective to the whole, I remember we are all standing on those old hills now.