To have a true, lasting impact on the life another person is a powerful achievement. To have a true, lasting impression on an entire nation, and a legacy that spans the world, is as difficult as it is rare. Few people in history can claim such influence. Mahatma Gandhi is one such man. Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi was born in India on October 2, 1869. He grew up in western India, and went to London for law school. He traveled to South Africa for a job, and remained to campaign for the rights of Indians in South Africa. Upon returning to India, he became involved in politics and began to promote Indian independence from British rule.
Gandhi's life wasn't without controversy. Among other things, some critics have questioned his sexual practices, his attitude towards Africans and Jews, and his arguments against modern technology. Despite any shortcomings, Gandhi resisted racial discrimination in South Africa, relentlessly campaigned for Indian liberation from British rule, and fought against India's strict caste system, all while serving as a strong advocate of nonviolence. In fact, the UN International Day of Non-Violence is celebrated on October 2 in honor of Gandhi's birth.
Let these quotes remind you of all the good Gandhi helped accomplish in the world:
1. "Man becomes great exactly in the degree in which he works for the welfare of his fellow men."
2. "A man is but a product of his thoughts. What he thinks he becomes."
3. "Each one has to find his peace from within. And peace to be real must be unaffected by outside circumstances."
4. "You can chain me, you can torture me, you can even destroy this body, but you will never imprison my mind."
5. "When I admire the wonders of a sunset or the beauty of the moon, my soul expands in the worship of the creator."
6. "The human voice can never reach the distance that is covered by the still small voice of conscience."
7. "Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony."
8. "If patience is worth anything, it must endure to the end of time. And a living faith will last in the midst of the blackest storm."
9. "All compromise is based on give and take, but there can be no give and take on fundamentals. Any compromise on mere fundamentals is a surrender, for it is all give and no take."
10. "The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is an attribute of the strong."
11. "Truth is by nature self-evident. As soon as you remove the cobwebs of ignorance that surround it, it shines clear."
12. "Prayer is not asking. It is a longing of the soul. It is daily admission of one's weakness. It is better in prayer to have a heart without words than words without a heart."
13. "An ounce of practice is worth a thousand words."
14. "Anger is the enemy of non-violence and pride is a monster that swallows it up."
15. "Non-violence is the greatest force at the disposal of mankind. It is mightier than the mightiest weapon of destruction devised by the ingenuity of man."
16. "A coward is incapable of exhibiting love; it is the prerogative of the brave."
17. "My religion is based on truth and non-violence. Truth is my God. Non-violence is the means of realizing Him."
18. "Honest disagreement is often a good sign of progress."
19. "Freedom is not worth having if it does not include the freedom to make mistakes."
20. "A small body of determined spirits fired by an unquenchable faith in their mission can alter the course of history."
21. "Service which is rendered without joy helps neither the servant nor the served. But all other pleasures and possessions pale into nothingness before service which is rendered in a spirit of joy."
22. "We may never be strong enough to be entirely nonviolent in thought, word and deed. But we must keep nonviolence as our goal and make strong progress towards it."
23. "If you want real peace in the world, start with children."
24. "A 'No' uttered from the deepest conviction is better than a 'Yes' merely uttered to please, or worse, to avoid trouble."
25. "If I have the belief that I can do it, I shall surely acquire the capacity to do it even if I may not have it at the beginning."
26. "Whenever you are confronted with an opponent, conquer him with love."
27. "To give pleasure to a single heart by a single act is better than a thousand heads bowing in prayer."
28. "Confession of errors is like a broom which sweeps away the dirt and leaves the surface brighter and clearer. I feel stronger for confession."
29. "Earth provides enough to satisfy every man's needs, but not every man's greed."
30. "The main purpose of life is to live rightly, think rightly, act rightly. The soul must languish when we give all our thought to the body."
31. "Non-violence is not a garment to be put on and off at will. Its seat is in the heart, and it must be an inseparable part of our being."
32. "The day the power of love overrules the love of power, the world will know peace."
33. "I object to violence because when it appears to do good, the good is only temporary. The evil it does is permanent."
34. "You must not lose faith in humanity. Humanity is like an ocean; if a few drops of the ocean are dirty, the ocean does not become dirty."
35. "I cannot conceive of a greater loss than the loss of one's self-respect."
36. "Power is of two kinds. One is obtained by the fear of punishment and the other by acts of love. Power based on love is a thousand times more effective and permanent then the one derived from fear of punishment."
37. "In a gentle way, you can shake the world."