Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Gandhi's personal mission statement

Sometimes a personal slap upside the head comes in the most unexpected places.

After dabbling around the edges and not using my Franklin Planner to, well, plan, this morning I thought I'd review some of the instruction sections and get serious about using this little device that I spend 40-50 bucks a year on. There's more to using a planner than just keeping track of your appointments, doncha know.

My eyes had started glazing over -- prioritize, urgent/non-urgent, plan weekly, plan daily, yeah, yeah, yeah, and then I came across several examples of "personal mission statements." There, they included Mahatma Gandhi's "Resolution," which I recognized from deep in my long-ago memory. It's a thought that would well serve anyone who wants to do something useful with his/her life:

Let the first act of every morning be to make the following resolve for the day:

* I shall not fear anyone on Earth.

* I shall fear only God.

* I shall not bear ill will toward anyone.

* I shall not submit to injustice from anyone.

* I shall conquer untruth by truth.

* And in resisting untruth, I shall put up with all suffering.

That's one darn complete personal mission statement, especially that last line, because if you set out to fearlessly stand for truth and refuse to submit to injustice while bearing no ill will toward anyone (which includes those who perpetrate injustice), you'd better steel yourself for it to hurt a little.

The time since I last encountered Gandhi's "Resolution" can be measured in decades. I'm going to use the wonder of modern technology, e.g., my handy-dandy computer printer, to ensure that I encounter these words on a daily basis. I see just the spot on my wall for it.


Blogger Wally Conger said...

GREAT stuff! I must make a poster of that statement myself to plaster on my office wall.

BTW, Franklin Planner? ANOTHER thing we two share in common!! I've been using one for, oh, 16 years!!

10:21 AM  
Anonymous John Newman said...

Jesus Christ! Even He couldn't live up to that "Resolution." Do money changers in the temple ring a bell?

11:37 AM  
Blogger freeman said...

Yup, great stuff indeed. Have you checked out the website called What Would Gandhi Do? before? If you haven't, I recommend taking a trip over there one day.

BTW, what is a Franklin Planner?

9:31 PM  
Blogger B.W. Richardson said...

A Franklin Planner is a little planning system based on a concept that Benjamin Franklin came up with. You can find a complete description and sundry sales pitches at franklincovey.com.

And thanks for the Gandhi site! Fun reading.

9:18 AM  
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7:59 AM  
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