Gandhi doesn’t talk about poverty in the way we think about it today. He’s not suggesting people suffer and become dependent on charity, right? So what does it mean to adopt poverty as Gandhi suggests?
Those who have money are not expected to throw it away, but they are expected to be indifferent about it. They must be prepared to lose every penny rather than give up passive resistance.
How do those who have money understand it well enough to prepare themselves to lose every penny? Even simple living in the US is pretty excessive. I personally hate losing money, knowing what it could have done for some of my favorite nonprofits.
I want to passively resist factory farming that is cruel to animals and bad for the environment. I am willing to go broke in the process, but if I couldn’t afford or find cruelty-free, sustainable groceries, should I not eat at all? At the same is it even right to spend extra money on good food knowing there are people right outside my apartment who are homeless and hungry? Gandhi might say by adopting poverty we become indifferent to the money as well as goods, and this is why passive resistance takes so much strength. In any case, avoiding the evils of our modern civilization is expensive unless you find the right thrift stores (and even then it costs time).
- As truth-seekers what is stopping us from adopting poverty and the clarity that comes with it, or why shouldn’t we?
- Can I justify less than full commitment to this passive resistance if it means focusing on other work that is important to me?