It was American antiques personality Henry David Thoreau who was the inspiration to Mahatma Gandhi in his fight to resist English rule. It was the destiny of Gandhi to remove the Jewel from the English Crown.
Make your own was fundamental to Gandhi and his followers, who began to make their own clothing, from home made spinning wheels, effort and raw cotton. To be seen in an English made shirt on raw cotton shipped cheap from India, factory made and sold in India, was to show you still felt beholden to the system and your mind was not free.
In contrast, to be seen in a cheap cotton shirt badly made on a rickety spinning wheel was to feel free. The many ways each person could make their own was up to the imagination. A shirt, a pair of pants, a pair of shoes, could all be made from the products of the fields and their common efforts. Communal cooperation was a means by which others could join in, learn, begin the process in their own lives. And gradually at first and then with a gradually building momentum, the make up of dress wear began to show, and increase the fears of the British masters.
By the time of the outbreak of World War Two and Pearl Harbor the Japanese conquests down through China and Indo China found Singapore at the south tip of Asia fall to the Japanese who then surged into Burma. Indian loyalty was critical to maintain a common front against Japan. And the vast teeming masses of India went on with their meagre lives during this all. And into this mix came the angry lawyer from South African experience with apartheid Gandhi. His refusal to bow as lesser in Africa had him soon worrying the British back in his homeland of India.
The scholars clothes of the Oxford educated Gandhi soon had him dresssing down to his audience. In the steaming tropical heat of the Indian sun, Gandhi could prayerfully wrap himself in a cloth robe made by himself at a spinning wheel of his making. And this non violent avoidance of things British other than the common base of the English language by which Gandhi soon recognized with its many many sects and languages could speak and understand all as one. Yet always the reality of complex faiths and their clashes came to the way to harmony and peace.
So always were the major clashes of religious ethos between ancient Hindu, Buddhist faiths with the invasive armies of Islam from Afghanistan and Persia. Gandhi tried all his life to keep these two faiths within the umbrella of a mighty proud free peoples of India. But Pakistan would be created in the predominently Muslim sections, and for years millions of Muslim and Hindu faith passed each other crossing into their new forced homeland.
We are forced to recall this now only up in the mid mountain kingdoms of Kashmir. Here in 1947 the Hindu maharaja placed by Britain to rule in this Muslim region decided his mother India should be home for these red ants, as Thoreau might have suggested, in a black ant land. Thoreau would observe ants bump into each and not back off. Soon all would fight to the death; bodies without a head still snapping their pincers into eternity. But during the lifetime of Gandhi the means by which to sooner see a free land came from making your own.
How that applies to you in your life only you can determine. But to make your own can incorporate new ideas on how to re make your own out of that which had once worked fine but no longer does. Can it be repaired. Can you repair it. Is it worth the cost in your time and effort and in parts or replacements. Often times now it is cheaper to replace your own with a hot new toaster from China with streamlined looks and a more up to date feel about it. It makes you feel rich. Ignore it. Hold a stick with a slice of thick European black rye bread to the fire. Just kidding.
But you knew this and for you, how to get the flow if free inner behavior is where you are willing to go. How you make your own way into your old patterns and review how your comfort zone ways and means to create security in your life depends ultimately on you. Perhaps it is soon time to find new ways to make your own. He or she who rows their own boat merrily down the stream gets to make their own in ways that only occur during the journey. But on your way, notice the lovely flowers on the embankment. You could make your own daisy chain.
Make your own relationship work better by investing more of yourself. Make your own time to be with your family; a neice, child or grand child who needs a new pair of runners for gym because the feet will keep outgrowing. If you cannot make your own shoes for them, you can both make your own joy and harmony while you select what your budget can afford and that brand may not have the name you will spend so much more for. Become acquainted with those publications that shop compare for you and rate the value to the price and performance. Are you paying Mercedes prices for Volkswagon quality?
How you can be sure is by non purchase practice shopping before you touch the puppy. Make your own most perfect fit in your life for each new or retained article from your socks to your food. You can make your own food if you have your own garden or in urban areas, roof or community gardens. How we shrink down our lives to more basic is in the cards and we may as well enjoy that journey which God or the fortunes of history are blowing our way. How you make your own can set you apart in ways you might not yet envision.
And it is good that challenges blast into our lives we may as well say. For if we have, and we have not, lived in peaceful harmony like ancient Egyptians for thousands of years, to have mad Assyrians on horses with new sharper swords ride out of theSinai desert and ruin our lives forever. Egyptians ran in fear as this new creature it seemed to them, a horse-man with a sword, cut them down. Like them, we must make our own recovery even while our Assyrian hordes charge at us from the vast other side of Asia into our lives.
This time, they make our own and sell it to us and thus pull themselves up from our boot straps. And so as these vast sources of human labor sweep all in its path we do need to take less car trips to megamall to buy more lead lined replicas of something antique looking but a real bargain. Do we make our own destiny when we have lost the ability to actually any more to make our own? Yes we do. And stay home and let the lead head in Ned allow him to line up to spend that he has not yet earned to feel a bit more rich while he just became a bit less rich.
And some where across the sea he who made our own just had a little salary increase. And when you start to move up into the heady dollar an hour range you will have more status and the ability to make your own voice heard, quietly, at the next union meeting. Ah so. Size of crumpet muffin not enough. Want more. Sir. No great issue, we just tell megamart price went up three pennies for your raise. Very difficult to make your own now, unless you quietly contemplate how. But no time for that now? Well yes there is or there should be.
And how you see your own way to make your own way will be determined each step you take along the way. American antiques history from Henry David Thoreau did so influence Gandhi in how to free his people. Martin Luther King would follow these same steps to divine fortune with similiar results; death by violent guns. You need not pursue your destiny any which way but loving and wise. And that is how Gandhi would suggest we look at how can we get by with less and find more joy. As we make our own: shirt, shoes, or simply our divine destiny. Good fortune to you.
Derek Dashwood enjoys noticing positive ways we progress, the combining of science into the humanities to measure politics, wise use and mis use of power and protective love at