An inspirational ceremony

“Inspirational” hardly does justice to today’s ceremony in JMU’s East Campus Library dedicating a statue of Gandhi. The statue is a gift of the government of India to JMU in recognition of the work of the Mahatma Gandhi Center for Global Nonviolence.

Sunlight streaming through the trees in the garden outside the library, the lyrical melodies of Indian musicians, urns of flower petals for adorning the statue…it was a perfect setting to mark a fitting event for October 2, the International Day of Non-Violence and the birthday of Gandhi.

During the ceremony Ronen Sen, India’s ambassador to the United States, pointed to the importance of Gandhi’s work and ideals in today’s society. Ideals such as the oneness of humanity, respect instead of tolerance, promoting cultures that value non-violence as an ethic, becoming world-centric, all can contribute to a better world.

Sen called on the audience to look for illumination, and upon finding it, to share it with others.

The statue pictures Gandhi in motion, striding with purpose, a fitting symbol of his call to “be the change you wish to see in the world.”

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