His strength of character, the sharpness of his mind, his organizing skills, and all his energy were offered up for achieving the freedom of India under Gandhi's leadership, and after independence for India's consolidation. We admire a man who rises to a political or financial peak, but are moved by one whose sole purpose in life is the strength and wellbeing of his compatriots. And we are moved even more when we discover that next to the steel in his soul is a tenderness for colleagues and a readiness to accept whatever results God ordains. In successive phases of his life, Vallabhbhai Patel showed the defiance of the oppressed, a trial lawyer's brilliance, the daring to give up a flourishing career, the discipline of a soldier in freedom's battles, the strategies of a General, indifference as a prisoner of the Raj, the generosity of the strong, the firmness of a patriot, and the farsightedness of a statesman. If times are depressing or daunting, Sardar Patel reminds us of India's and Indians' potential. When times are good, we can think of him with glad gratitude.