October 2, 2020, would have been the 151st birthday of Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi — the lawyer, anti-colonial nationalist, political ethicist, and first leader to employ large-scale nonviolent resistance in the political arena perhaps better known to many in the Western world by the honorific given to him in South Africa in 1914, Mahātmā (Sanskrit for “high-souled” or “venerable”) Gandhi.
The best Gandhi quotes reveal exactly why he is unofficially known as the Father of the Nation.
His birthday is commemorated annually, both in India as Gandhi Jayanti, one of only three national holidays, and throughout the world in keeping with a 2007 resolution of the United Nations General Assembly declaring it the International Day of Non-Violence.
Tragically, Gandhi was assassinated at the age of 78 on January 30, 1948.
However, the inspirational legacy built on his strategic mass civil disobedience campaigns — dubbed Satyagraha, meaning “truth and firmness” — lives on as what Biography fittingly refers to as “a beacon of hope for oppressed and marginalized people throughout the world.”
Life is a constant learning experience, and through our struggles, one of the most important things we can do is learn how to cope with what we’re given from wise people who’ve led the way before us.
What I’m trying to say is that life isn’t easy. We aren’t handed an instructional manual, and not everyone has the answers we seek.
When you need motivation or a reminder that life can be far more simple with a few deep breaths and some kindness, look to these 40 inspirational quotes from Mahātmā Gandhi.
1. “The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.” — Mahatma Gandhi
2. “Whenever you are confronted with an opponent, conquer him with love.” — Mahatma Gandhi
3. “If we could change ourselves, the tendencies in the world would also change. As a man changes his own nature, so does the attitude of the world change towards him.” — Mahatma Gandhi
4. “Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever.” — Mahatma Gandhi
5. “We need not wait to see what others do.” — Mahatma Gandhi
6. “The future depends on what you do today.” — Mahatma Gandhi
7. “Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony.” — Mahatma Gandhi
8. “First they ignore you, then laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.” — Mahatma Gandhi
9. “Even if you are a minority of one, the truth is the truth.” — Mahatma Gandhi
10. “As long as you derive inner help and comfort from anything, keep it.” — Mahatma Gandhi
11. “The enemy is fear. We think it is hate; but, it is fear.” — Mahatma Gandhi
12. “Peace is the most powerful weapon of mankind.” — Mahatma Gandhi
13. “I am prepared to die, but there is no cause for which I am prepared to kill.” — Mahatma Gandhi
14. “Love is the strongest force the world possesses, yet it is the humblest imaginable.” — Mahatma Gandhi
15. “Nobody can hurt me without my permission.” — Mahatma Gandhi
16. “Satisfaction lies in the effort, not in the attainment. Full effort is full victory.” — Mahatma Gandhi
17. “Fear has its use but cowardice has none.” — Mahatma Gandhi
18. “Anger and tolerance are the enemies of correct understanding.” — Mahatma Gandhi
19. “Honest differences are often a healthy sign of progress.” — Mahatma Gandhi
20. “A small body of determined spirits fired by an unquenchable faith in their mission can alter the course of history.” — Mahatma Gandhi
21. “Where there is love there is life.” — Mahatma Gandhi
22. “Anger is the enemy of non-violence and pride is a monster that swallows it up.” — Mahatma Gandhi
23. “Freedom is not worth having if it does not include the freedom to make mistakes.” — Mahatma Gandhi
24. “Be truthful, gentle, and fearless.” — Mahatma Gandhi
25. “An eye for an eye will only make the whole world blind.” — Mahatma Gandhi
26. “Your beliefs become your thoughts, Your thoughts become your words, Your words become your actions, Your actions become your habits, Your habits become your values, Your values become your destiny.” — Mahatma Gandhi
27. “Whatever you do will be significant, but it is very important that you do it.” — Mahatma Gandhi
28. “Earth provides enough to satisfy every man’s needs, but not even one man’s greed.” — Mahatma Gandhi
29. “To believe in something, and not to live it, is dishonest.” — Mahatma Gandhi
30. “There is more to life than increasing its speed.” — Mahatma Gandhi
31. “Action expresses priorities.” — Mahatma Gandhi
32. “Nonviolence is a weapon of the strong.” — Mahatma Gandhi
33. “You may never know what results come of your action, but if you do nothing there will be no result.” — Mahatma Gandhi
34. “Victory attained by violence is tantamount to a defeat, for it is momentary.” — Mahatma Gandhi
35. “In matters of conscience, the law of the majority has no place.” — Mahatma Gandhi
36. “Absolute calm is not the law of the ocean. And it is the same with every department in life.” — Mahatma Gandhi
37. “A ‘No’ uttered from the deepest conviction is better than a ‘Yes’ merely uttered to please, or worse, to avoid trouble.” — Mahatma Gandhi
38. “You must not lose faith in humanity. Humanity is like an ocean; if a few drops of the ocean are dirty, the whole ocean doesn’t become dirty.” — Mahatma Gandhi
39. “Non-violence requires a double faith, faith in God and also faith in man.” — Mahatma Gandhi
40. “My life is my message.” — Mahatma Gandhi
41. “I will not let anyone walk through my mind with their dirty feet.” — Mahatma Gandhi
42. “I object to violence because when it appears to do good, the good is only temporary; the evil it does is permanent.” — Mahatma Gandhi
43. “If we are to teach real peace in this world, and if we are to carry on a real war against war, we shall have to begin with the children.” — Mahatma Gandhi
44. “The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong.” — Mahatma Gandhi