- Lhunjalien Khongsai
Financial Advice from Gandhi
Gandhi’s reputation as the leader of the Indian Independence Movement is well known, however, his life and philosophy can also help us tackle our financial troubles in the most unanticipated ways. As the country is paying tribute to the great Father, let us revisit some of his teachings and draw inspiration on how to manage our finances. Coincidentally, his face is literally in every Indian bank note. So, it is fitting that we should be talking about money on his birthday.
His education in London and his experiences as a lawyer in South Africa imparted in him a strong knowledge of worldly affairs including economic and financial matters. He understood the importance of businesses and the role they play in a country’s economy. The ‘Swadeshi Movement’ that he started aimed at reviving domestic goods that would benefit local traders, artisans and businesses in a time when Britain controlled India’s economy. It was a predecessor to the ‘Make in India’ initiative that the government has been pushing these last few years.
Let’s examine a few of his famous words and learn the ways they can assist us in handling our monetary affairs:
“Whatever you do will be insignificant, but it is very important that you do it.”
Every rupee you save matters. It might seem insignificant at the moment but like Gandhi says here, it is important that you do. Even his life was a collection of small individual events that ultimately lead to the independence of this great nation. Likewise a consistent and disciplined habit of saving, no matter how small, will grow into something much more.
“It is difficult, but not impossible, to conduct strictly honest business.”
Honesty in money matters is essential to maintaining a stress free financial life. Gandhi’s philosophy is dedicated to the pursuit of truth. He attributes a lot of his success to truth, like the establishment of his Satyagraha Ashram where “Satya” means truth. Truthful and honest dealings with your finances will pave the way for a lifetime of success and contentment.
“Freedom is not worth having if it does not include the freedom to make mistakes.”
All of us make mistakes in life. This includes our financial lives as well. When Gandhi was fighting for India’s freedom, he fought knowing that the process of nation building would involve a lot of mistakes. He understood that the stability of the new country will be threatened by a lot of shortcomings but his fight was also for the freedom to commit these mistakes and learn from them. Do not dwell on past mistakes but use it as a lesson to empower your decisions in the future.
“Capital as such is not evil; it is its wrong use that is evil. Capital in some form or other will always be needed.”
We’ve all heard the saying “Money is the root of all evil”. Thankfully Gandhiji does not endorse this statement. One must not be discouraged to pursue wealth, as long as it is not illegal and exploitative. While money might not buy happiness, financial stability can certainly help in discovering it.
It’s remarkable to see the various ways in which Gandhi’s teachings can be relevant in our day to day lives. Even 70 years after his unfortunate demise, he remains a source of pride and inspiration to us Indians. This Gandhi Jayanti, we at NIRA, wish everyone a tension free financial life and the freedom to achieve it.
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