Inspirational words from India’s iconic leader and activist



Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi or “Mahatma” Gandhi is a name that remains synonymous with nonviolent protest. A method he used to push for Indian independence under British rule.

More than 70 years after his death, followers still practice Gandhi’s teachings. His words have inspired notable activists and leaders, including Nelson Mandela, Martin Luther King Jr. and James Lawson.

On the 152nd anniversary of Gandhi’s birth, review some of the leader and activist’s most inspiring quotes, compiled from Smart quote and Biography.

  • “Eye for eye only ends up blinding the whole world. “
  • “Freedom is not worth acquiring if it does not include the freedom to make mistakes.”
  • “First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win. “
  • “Love is the most powerful force the world has.”
  • “You have to be the change you want to see in the world.”
  • “Satisfaction is in effort, not in achievement, full effort is full victory.”
  • “Live like you’re going to die tomorrow. Learn like you’re meant to live forever.”
  • “Change yourself – you are in control. “
  • “The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others. ”
  • “The greatness of humanity is not to be human, but to be human.”
  • “Strength does not come from physical ability. It comes from indomitable willpower.
  • “There is a tribunal superior to the courts of justice and it is the tribunal of conscience. It replaces all other courts.
  • “We don’t have to wait to see what other people are doing.”
  • “The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the prerogative of the strong.”
  • “In a gentle way you can shake the world.”
  • “You must not give up hope in humanity. Humanity is an ocean; if a few drops of the ocean are dirty, the ocean does not become dirty.
  • “A ‘No’ uttered with the deepest conviction is better than a ‘Yes’ simply uttered to please, or worse, to avoid trouble.”

Indian statesman and activist Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi (1869 – 1948), circa 1940. Photo: Dinodia Photos / Getty Images


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