Day 3: Jan 21, 2008

What would Ghandi do?

I find myself awake again a 3:00 in the morning having lied in bed for sometimegazing out the window watching for the first signs of dawn to creep into the night sky. Like a old friend, I hear the rooster I have heard each morning calling in the distance.

However, it is not the roosters call that keeps me awake, but rather this thought that keeps scratching at my mind. In the face of such complexity, tyranny, and horror……. what would Ghandi do?

Knowing I should rest because today we leave for the camps and this is my last night of good rest in the comforts of the hotel. However, I cannot resist the lure of a answer, so I succumb to the temptation. Grabbing my Apple I rub the Information Genie (Google) with the question of “principles of Ghandi”. The genie answers with its 1,290,000 possibilities and I click Wikipedia as my first choice.

There through the digital connection my comfort is revealed………

“When I despair, I remember that all through history the way of truth and love has always won. There have been tyrants and murderers and for a time they seem invincible, but in the end, they always fall — think of it, always.”

You have to love the guy! I remember if he can bring the British Empire to its knees in both South Africa and India through using the principles of Truth, Non violence, and being the change, why should Africa be any different?

This is some of what is what he accomplished using the these simple but powerful principles:

Gandhi led nationwide campaigns for the alleviation of poverty, for the liberation of women, for brotherhood amongst differing religions and ethnicities, for an end to untouchability and caste discrimination, and for the economic self-sufficiency of the nation. Well that would work pretty well here.

Lets review how he did it. First by confronting his own hypocrisy. Oh boy! Integrity calls are my least favorite. Why, because it’s the mirror that often shows the problem. What have I done, to raise awareness on this issue? What more could I do? Sure I’m in Africa, but in classic Joshua Tree style complexity and the grandiose usually gets all the attention. Which usually means I have missed some simple but powerful steps or opportunities. So lets review what is already available for me to accomplish. I notice the link on the Stop Genocide now website, it is an amazing petition to the current administration to intervene with immediate support. Which I haven’t signed yet. If there is on one thing I have learned, while hear, nothing much can change until the violence stops and some level of security and stability can be brought to the area.

Signing the petition takes a whooping 15 seconds, and my voice has already been raised. I also notice there are 150 signatures on the petition and if I were resourceful I could double that number with who I know. And I could enroll them in getting just one more person to come to the SGN website and raise their voice and then do then same for someone else, how long before that whisper becomes a roaring thunder?

  • If each of those people get just one person to sign the petition we are at 300
  • If each of them gets 1 person: 600
  • If each of them gets 1 person: 1200
  • If each of them gets 1 person: 2400
  • If each of them gets 1 person: 4800
  • If each of them gets 1 person: 9400
  • If each of them gets 1 person: 16,800
  • If each of them gets 1 person: 33,600
  • If each of them gets 1 person: 67,200
  • If each of them gets 1 person: 134,400
  • If each of them gets 1 person: 268,800
  • If each of them gets 1 person: 537,600
  • If each of them gets 1 person: 1,075,200
  • If each of them gets 1 person: 2,150,400
  • If each of them gets 1 person: 4,300,800
  • If each of them gets 1 person: 8,601,600
  • If each of them gets 1 person: 17,203,200

From 1 to over 17 million in 17 generations of one person spending 30 seconds to click, sign, forward.

So the question is can I get 150 people to sign the petition and commit to getting one more person to do the same.

Below ist he email I am sending to all my friends and family. I would ask each of you who read this blog to sign the petition if you haven’t already, and get one more person to do the same.

Not sure how this will work. Regardless. I feel renewed with a new energy and perspective on how I can take simple steps to be the change I wish to see in the world.

Your Fellow Global Citizen

30 seconds to change the world!

Dear friend and fellow Global Citizen,

I am writing you from eastern Chad with an opportunity for you to change the world. Our fellow Global Citizens here in Africa are in as bad as a situation as you can imagine. With war, famine, poverty, tyrannical government to name a few. As bad as it sounds, there is hope because situations like this have been solved before with the collective action and focus from people just like you.

So heres the deal, you can send money, you can travel here for support, but today I am suggesting neither. Today I letting you know that for 30 seconds of your time, and more importantly your voice, you can have a huge impact for the people of this region.

So what do you do? Below is a link to a petition that asks for our government to come to assistance of this region with peacekeeping forces to stop the violence and bring some stability to the area. This small effort will help immensely and allow for other solutions to begin to work. But more importantly it provides leadership from the US to the rest of the world that this will not happen on our watch.

  1. Click on the link below to sign your name and raise your voice. This process will take you 15 seconds to click and sign your name, but your not done yet.
  2. I ask that you get just one more person to sign the petition and commit to getting one more. Whether you forward this email, step into the next office, or make a phone call, just let someone else what you have done and that they can do the same. If you ask some you know it shouldn’t take more than a few seconds.

Then your done, and today you have changed the world. And done so through the wisdom of Gandhi, by being the change the change you wish to see in the world. Thank you for time, attention, and your voice.

More Thoughts on what would Gandhi do to come……

In Gratitude,
Your Fellow Global Citizen

10 replies on “What would Ghandi do?”

Hi Josh,
Thanks for the challenge. I did sign the petition right away and tried to get a few others to sign as well but I know that I can probably get many more or at least try and I will start right now!

Dear Josh,

Thanks very much for that quote from Gandhi. It’s comforting to know that, despite frustration and uncertainty, there are things like that which we can always rely on to be true. Have a safe journey out to the camps, may you enjoy your stay there, and may it be fruitful. Everyone here is by your side, in spirit (and in more practical ways too, but I won’t go into that :-).


ps. Signed the petition!

YL , Thank you very much that being contrubuting from far away . I think that you and i will miss this time KOUNOGO and FARCHANA , Anyway as Gabriel is on the ground we don’t have problems.

Thanks very KT J and Gab for the big help from the refugees camp.

Hi Joshua
i’m enjoying your posts, thanks for bringing us along on your journey!

I’ve been thinking about the courage and conviction it takes to step out of our familiar lives in order to touch the life of someone across the globe. I ask people if they have signed the petition or visited the site yet. There is perplexing resistance to even the smallest contrary action to our everyday routines, and it is not benign. I encourage them non the less because of the example my daughter and your team set for me.

I believe every decision we make turns us into a different sort of person, a person that gives the world hope and a future for not only our species but for the spirit of GOOD. Each decision turns us into a new person, in your case and the others on this trip, one that will change many lives simply by example and sharing your inner process.

Thanks for your courage,
Kathleen AKA KTJ’s MOM

Josh, I really enjoyed your insightful journal post. I definitely felt a personal sense of conviction as I’m sure many others seems many times in our struggle to make the world a better place, we forget to make ourselves better people. Thanks again for the reminder.

Safe travels,


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