As I sat down to read the NYT with my breakfast this morning I was struck by the absurdity of a headline just below the fold on the front page:
Despite Outcry, Gandhi’s Meager Belongings Sell for $1.8 Million
I found myself reading that headline three times before it registered and sunk into my rather frazzled brain. In short, his modest possessions were put up for auction at Antiquorum Auctioneers in Manhattan today.
These simple items made up his daily life; wire-rimmed spectacles (not glasses, mind you, these are truly spectacles), a pair of sandals (these look mysteriously like the water buffalos I wore in the 70s), a bowl, a plate and a pocket watch. These five items were viewed with a yellowed copy of the January 30, 1948 issue of The Piqua Daily Call, an Ohio newspaper. The headline read, “Gandhi Shot and Killed Today”.
There was all sorts of controversy surrounding the auction which you can read about in the link above if you want the details.
For me, the irony is so overwhelming. Here is a man who, quite frankly, loathed the material world. Hey, if asked whether he would rather be thin or rich, this guy would have no choice but vote thin by default (that was for my First Thursdays).
Seriously, could there be anything more ridiculous than this? Well maybe perhaps something I read on twitter today from @BirdOnAWire55, “all hell breaks loose when Catholic student hands out condoms at a Catholic College…the whole world has gone crazy!”
The world is a strange place today, my friends. I will leave you with this thought as I enter into a much needed weekend:
Gandhi was once asked what he thought about western civilization. His response was:
“I think it would be a good idea.
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