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Arun Gandhi says culture of violence needs to change

The grandson of Mohandas K. "Mahatma" Gandhi brought his message of personal transformation to Buffalo Sunday.

"We are becoming too dependent on the culture of violence and we need to transform and become more peaceful, more loving and respectful of each other," said Arun Gandhi, the 82-year-old peace activist, who was a journalist for the Times of India for 30 years.

Today he speaks to various groups, is an author and believer in his grandfather's philosophy of non-violence.

He mentioned the famous quote attributed to his grandfather: "Be the change that you wish to see in the world."

"What he meant was that if we change our habits and we look at ourselves and see what our weaknesses are and change, the society will change," Gandhi said. "But if we are going to wait for change to come from the top down it will never happen."

He said while experts say we are living in a more peaceful time, he doesn't see it that way. He said people tend to look at only physical violence.

"It's a matter of perception. I think even one act of violence is too much," he said, adding that passive violence acts as a fuel supply for physical violence.

Gandhi, who was born in apartheid-era South Africa, sees himself as a peace farmer.

"I think all I can do is go out and plant seeds, seeds of peace in the minds of people. And then hope and pray those seeds will eventually germinate and we have a good crop of peace makers," he said.

His visit to Karpeles Manuscript Library Museum was presented by HEAL Bflo. HEAL stands for health, energy, art and love.



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