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BK Blog Post
Posted by Michael Nagler.
Michael is founder and president of the Metta Center for Nonviolence and the author of Our Spiritual Crisis and The Search for a Nonviolent Future, which received a 2002 American Book Award and has been translated into several languages.
“All virtue ceases to have use if it serves no purpose in every walk of life.” ~ Gandhi, Harijan, July 26, 1942 p. 248
What Milton called a “cloistered virtue,” or a mere philosophical idea that had no practical outcome in real life, can be at best useless and at worst an ideology that furnishes reason for violence. What constantly impresses one about Gandhi, his salient characteristic as a man of our time, is the combination of the loftiest vision being always grounded in concrete reality. It is said that when he went to Oxford to speak to the Indian students during his visit to London in 1931, on the occasion of the second Round Table Conference (which went nowhere, politically), he arrived at whatever college it was and immediately set about inspecting the sanitary facilities. He never got to his speech! But maybe he taught the students something more.
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Stephanie Van Hook, the Metta Center’s executive director, launched Daily Metta in 2015 as a way to share Gandhi’s spiritual wisdom and experiments with nonviolence.
Our 2016 Daily Metta continues with Gandhi on weekdays. On weekends, we share videos that complement Michael Nagler’s award-winning book, The Search for a Nonviolent Future: A Promise of Peace for Ourselves, Our Families, and Our World. To help readers engage with the book more deeply, the Metta Center offers a free PDF study guide.