Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Gandhi as Shy Guy

Gandhi, one of my often-mentioned heroes, is an encouraging example in part because of his rough start.

Prior to peacefully running the British out of India, he was a lawyer who was too cowed to speak up in court. He lost case after case. "He was a total failure," writes Paul Rogat Loeb in an AARP Bulletin piece adapted from his book Soul of a Citizen. Gandhi's Indian family "sent him off to South Africa, where he found his voice by challenging racial segregation."

It's a truism of public speaking that we lose any fear of it once what we have to say becomes more important than our personal performance.

"I love viewing Gandhi not as the master strategist of social change," Loeb writes, "but as someone who first was literally tongue-tied, shy and intimidated."

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Greta said...

Peggy, if you don't have the 1979 book, Gandhi, A Memoir, by William L. Shirer, I have a softback copy for you. I volunteer at Habitat's Home Store in "books" and I go crazy finding all kinds of books.

Peggy Payne said...

Thanks, Greta. I think I've read it, but will check. And what a great volunteer job. I didn't even know that Habitat's store carried books.