Mahatma Gandhi's life was not governed by policies, but by principles and values driven by his intense degree of personal accountability. Gandhi believed in a single standard of conduct for both his private and his public life. He rejected behavioral compartmentalization of any kind and led his political life in the same manner as his personal life, with both being based on his religious faith. Gandhi formulated two absolute values of truth and non-violence. He committed to those values whole heartedly, often demanding far more of himself than he did of others. I assert that Gandhi was the epitome of personal accountability throughout his life.
Gandhi began his life as an extremely passionate young man with a fierce temper. From the beginning of his story, Gandhi is quick to realize the truths of his regretful actions, including those of jealousy and stealing. As a young boy, he wrote his father a letter in apology for stealing gold from his brother. Although he vowed in the letter never to commit this sin again, he was deeply troubled by the thought of disappointing his father. He and his father both cried silently and Gandhi realized that those "…pearl drops of love cleansed (his) heart and washed (his) sin away" (p. 14). He felt that due to his "… clean confession, combined with (his) promise never to commit the sin again…(his) father (felt) absolutely safe about (him) and increased his affection for (him) beyond measure" (p.14). Thisfirst proud example of personal accountability was due to his direct openness with his father and derived from his own rightful conscience.
This passion later transformed and fueled his life of selfless service for others. As a living, breathing example, Mahatma Gandhi realizedfirst hand that it was possible to conserve one's anger and transform one's energy into a power strong enough to move the world. According to Gandhi, "anger transformed beco…