A Few Stray Thoughts (all my own work), of Gandhi and Einstein

And for a Friday (because this is a long weekend), a few stray thoughts and a few general observations and a few points of view (all my own work):

Like the two great minds that influenced the 20th century the most were Gandhi and Einstein. Einstein changed the way we think about what the world is, and Gandhi changed the way we think about how to live in it. And this is what Einstein said about Gandhi: ‘Generations to come, it may well be, will scarce believe, that such a man as this one ever in flesh and blood walked upon this earth.’

Like while Einstein was a philosopher scientist who philosophized the practical world into scientific theories, Gandhi was a scientific philosopher who experimented with his philosophies before implementing them.

einstein-and-gandhi-e1357105119213Like while we idolize Einstein for the rationality, there is so much philosophy he left behind, and while we idolize Gandhi for being a philosopher-saint, there is so much rationale in how and why he did what he did.

Like between Gandhi’s and Einstein’s work, life, writings and specially the simple quotes they left behind, so many things in today’s world can be explained.

Like when I see our PM sweeping to launch the Clean India movement, I wonder if Gandhi would have said ‘Be the change you want to see in the world.’

Like when I see the new Tamil Nadu CM and his ministers cry while taking oath looking at their jailed leader’s photo, I wonder if Einstein would have said ‘Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I’m not sure about the universe.’

Like when I see the stupendous success of the Mars mission, I wonder if Gandhi would have said ‘A man is but a product of his thoughts. What he thinks, he becomes.’

Like when I think of why our Prime Minister talked to China about culture and business (and not peace and border issues!) and talked to US about peace and partnership (and not business and Pakistan issues!), I wonder whether Einstein would have said ‘A clever person solves a problem. A wise person avoids it.’

Like when I think of why the Shiv Sena split with BJP in Maharashtra before the elections, may be Gandhi would have said ‘The Earth provides enough to satisfy every man’s need, but not every man’s greed.’

Like when I look at Alibaba (not अलीबाबा और चालीस चोर but the Chinese e-commerce company, not sure if it is different though!), and see it’s entangled legal structure, it’s business and the overpriced IPO of an entity that gives no control to investors in running the real Alibaba, I wonder whether Einstein would have said ‘A question that sometimes drives me hazy is: am I or are the others crazy?’

Like when I see the female Indian boxer who got an unfair decision at the Asian Games and, presumably overwhelmed with anger and emotion, acted the way she did, I wonder if Gandhi would have said ‘The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong.’

Like when Swami, who last invested in the markets in 2008 and turned away for 5 years, asks Jigneshbhai with enthusiasm where he should invest (after the markets are up 50% in the past year), I wonder if Einstein would have said ‘Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.’

And this final stray thought: after Modi became PM, I have started watching Doordarshan which seems like a calm pond after the stormy agitations on private channels. Perhaps, Einstein might have said ‘There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.’

2 Responses to A Few Stray Thoughts (all my own work), of Gandhi and Einstein

  1. Kshitija Kulkarni says:

    Excellent!
    Simply enjoyed reading this
    Gandhiji and Einstein would be happy that somebody has quoted them right and understood them right .

  2. Sid says:

    Well written Ranjit! Einstein’s quote ” ‘Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I’m not sure about the universe’’ is apt and timeless. If I may allude to our past and present experiences, I’d further add to this quote – “Human stupidity knows no bounds and stupid humans think that theirs is the universe. Whereas their universe is no bigger than an ornate (or tacky) office space brought to life by a herd of tongue lolling sycophants”

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