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tidying-up the gandhian way

Bhasha Chakrabarti


Rule 01

Commit yourself to tidying up…very slowly.


“Good travels at a snail’s pace [..} Those who want to do good are not selfish, they are not in a hurry, they know that to impregnate people with good requires a long time.”


(Meaning: Not only should you not be in a rush to clean up, but if you work too quickly, it would be immoral.)




Rule 02

Imagine your ideal lifestyle, in which you own nothing.


“It is open to the laugh at my dispossessing myself of all property. For me the dispossession has been a positive gain. It is the richest treasure I own.”


(Meaning: This is just a thought exercise – have no fear. This rule may seem impossible to follow, in which case, just think about it, and that’s kind of enough for now.)




Rule 03

Don’t discard, renunciate.


“Renunciation does not mean that if one has wealth [or material possessions] it should be thrown away. It simply means that one must give up attachment to these things”


(Meaning: If you already own stuff, you don’t need to actually throw anything away, as long as you know you would be ok with it being thrown away…maybe.)




Rule 04

Follow your needs, not your wants.


“A thing not originally stolen must nevertheless be classified as stolen property, if we possess it without needing it […} If each person retained possession of only what he needed, no one would be in want, and all would live in contentment."


(Meaning: If you really need something, keep it. If you are going to raise the point about keeping 22 pairs of shoes though, man, do we have some work to do.




Rule 05

Keep trying and failing. 


“Only the fewest possible, if any at all, can reach the ideal. We ordinary seekers must not be repelled by the seeming impossibility. But we must keep the ideal constantly in view, and in the light thereof, critically examine our possessions and try to reduce them.”


(Meaning: if you’ve actually manage to follow all the rules, you’re not human.)




Rule 06

Ask yourself if it’s non-violent.


“We must keep nonviolence as our goal and make strong progress towards it.”


(Meaning: No fast fashion, which is violent towards the environment. Nothing produced in sweatshops or that has been tested on animals. And, just to be safe, get rid of all your knives and scissors.)


@bhashaalways /