Selected Letters of Gandhi : Part-2

A collection of Mahatma Gandhi letters.

Chapter-14: Prayer

June 2,1919

If you don’t know something, do not hesitate to ask about it. Don’t hide your ignorance out of false shame. When I first went to South Africa I did not know what a p.-note was. I concealed my ignorance for a couple of days, but that only embarrassed me all the more. I found that I could make nothing of Dada Abdulla’s case so long as I did not know what a p.-note was. I therefore revealed my ignorance at once and when I was told that p.-note, I laughed not at my ignorance but at my false sense of shame, for p.-note was a word which I could not look up even in a dictionary. The best course therefore is to ask at once about anything of which you are ignorant. Never mind if you are mistaken for a fool, but don’t take the risk of going wrong as a result of your ignorance.
Do you read something or other regularly ? Do you pray as you get up from bed? If you don’t, allow me to remind you about it, for I am certain that prayer does us a world of good. You will realize its value in times of trouble, and even from day to day if you offer it thoughtfully. Prayer is food for the soul. As the body languishes for want of nourishment, even so does the soul wither away without appropriate food.