I can only respect men and women who not only stand against oppression, discrimination, and injustice but do it in a nonviolent spirit of harmony. One of such great people to walk the face of the earth and positively transform it for the better was Mahatma Gandhi.
He was known for his calm composure and humble simplicity; a man who empowered and unified two hundred million people to love one another, see themselves as equals and fight for their right to justice and freedom.
Inspired by my recent article of Rumi’s quotes, I’ve put together seven of my favourite Gandhi quotes that will change the way you think and see the world around you.
“I cried because I had no shoes, then I met a man who had no feet.”
The root of human unhappiness stems from our inability to look at the bright side of life and be grateful for it. We focus on what’s missing in our lives, rather than what’s already there.
It’s easy to make yourself miserable. All you have to do is look at all the things that aren’t working in your favour and think: “Why is this happening to me?” It’s also quite easy to make yourself happy. All you have to do is look at all the things that are working in your favour and think: “I’m grateful for what’s happening to me!”
The funny this is, they both require the same amount of energy.
I personally prefer to do the latter, and my advice to you is to practice gratitude so that you can become a grateful person in the process of doing so. If you don’t know what to be grateful for, here are 10 things you can consider. And if you’re looking for a way to practice gratitude, it’s simple — before you go to bed, write one line per day expressing what you were grateful for that day.
Remember — you may be crying for not having enough, but you will meet people who have much less than you do.
“You must be the change you wish to see in the world.”
You want the world to be more positive? Then be more positive yourself. You want people to treat each other with respect? Then treat people with respect yourself. You want them to be humble? Then be humble yourself.
Be the change you wish to see in the world. So simple, yet so easily overlooked and forgotten.
This reminds me of my favourite Rumi quote:
“Yesterday I was clever so I wanted to change the world. Today I am wise so I am changing myself.”
I once heard someone say: every time you point the finger at someone, there are three fingers pointing back at you.
Everything begins with you. If you want to change the world, begin by changing yourself. Your actions will then set an example and inspire the change you wish to see.
“I will not let anyone walk through my mind with their dirty feet.”
This is such a powerful quote. In my opinion, it’s the epitome of mental strength.
Look — there will be people in your life who are going to try and stop you from moving forward. And do you know why? It’s because they’re afraid.
They’re afraid you’ll go on to do what you love and excel in it. They’re afraid you’ll find love for yourself and someone else while they won’t. They’re afraid you’ll live happier than they are while they shatter under the weight of their insecurity and refusal to find their courage to grow.
People will project their fears, insecurities, and doubts onto you. Moreso, they will set their own limitations but dare to question yours.
Negative people exist. They are people who haven’t yet invested in their growth, self-awareness or emotional maturity. So what will they do? They will try to bring you down with them. I’ve had firsthand experience in this.
Don’t let other people project their fears and limiting beliefs onto you. If someone’s thoughts, ideas, and energy don’t inspire you, go hang out with someone who does. Make new friends who will lift your spirits up and keep you feeling energized and empowered. You deserve it.
Make a “no dirty feet” policy — don’t let anyone walk through your mind with their dirty feet.
“Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever.”
This one’s beautiful, and the message behind it is profound.
Live as if you were to die tomorrow. If tomorrow was your final day on earth, would you do harm to anyone? No, you wouldn’t. Would you chase materialistic things? Most definitely not. Would you spend it appreciating the present for what it is with the people that mean most to you? Yes, definitely.
Learn to stop chasing happiness. It’s blinding you from the many blessings of the present. We spend a lot of time trying to figure out the next thing that will make us happy, but not nearly enough time trying to enjoy the happiness that we already have. Live as if you were to die tomorrow, and you’ll learn to live happily.
Learn as if you were to live forever. Never stop learning. Read books. Seek new mind-expanding experiences. Educate yourself. Become a student of life and you’ll grow with the journey that is existence.
“The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.”
Every soul has a purpose to serve. It took me years to find mine, but I’m so grateful I finally did.
With that said, I’ve been lost countless times in my life, but throughout the years I’ve uncovered three questions to ask myself whenever that feeling resurfaces.
Here’s one question:
What can I give back to the world?
What can I contribute to make an impact on the people around me?
And I apply this question to everything I do in life.
Over the years, I lost myself in my writing, and eventually, found myself through it. And how did I find myself? I stopped writing solely for myself and instead opted for opening up and sharing my writing with others. I realized that all I want to do is write to inspire growth in others — to empower people to follow their calling, live a life that’s true to them, and become better humans in the process of doing so.
The sole purpose of my writing now is to give. When I write an article, I use my words to give advice and inspire someone out there who needs to hear them. I write to uplift — that’s how I give and serve others.
So my question to you is this — what can you give back to the world?
“The future depends on what you do today… Without action, you aren’t going anywhere.”
Do you want to know where you’ll be this time next year? Take a look at what you’re doing today.
What you do today is a reflection of who you’ll become tomorrow. Do you aspire to be a great writer? Well, did you write today? You want to be in the best shape of your life. That’s great, but did you exercise today?
You become your habits because you are what you repeatedly do. Wishful thinking can fly you around the world, but it’ll drop you right back to this very moment and nothing will have changed.
“An ounce of practice is worth a thousand words.” — Gandhi
Life has taught me that there are people who only talk about their dreams and people who are actively working for the chance of realizing those dreams.
I implore you to get busy chasing yours — before you regret not doing so. Do the work that’ll take you to where you want to go. Do more, talk less. Live less in your head and more in the act of doing. That’s the secret to creating meaningful change in life.
“The greatness of humanity is not in being human, but in being humane… A coward is incapable of exhibiting love; it is the prerogative of the brave.”
Real courage lies in our capacity to love. That’s because love is one of the most powerful emotions we can feel. Love moves us. Love connects us closer to ourselves and others. Love makes us vulnerable. Love is scary but beautiful, delicate but potent. Love can break us and shatter us to pieces, and yet, it can also mould us back into the stature of our self-worth.
It’s for those very susceptible reasons that “cowards are incapable of exhibiting love” — they fear the vulnerability that love puts them in. They aren’t brave enough to indulge in self-love, let alone, love for others.
The greatness of humanity is in being humane.
It’s found in our capacity to love, our willingness to forgive and our ability to show compassion. And these aren’t only about others, they’re first and foremost about ourselves.
You are brave when you learn to love yourself for you who are and forgive yourselves for the mistakes you’ve made so you can release yourself from the misery of hate and regret. You are brave when you show love for yourself as much as you do for others, and when you lean into compassion and grace instead of animosity and hate.
“An eye for eye only ends up making the whole world blind.” — Ghandi
Don’t fight hate with hate — fight it with love. Don’t fight resentment with resentment — fight it with forgiveness.
“The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong.” — Ghandi
Be strong. Be brave. Be you.
“Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony.”
I wanted to save this one until the very end because it incorporates all the little snippets of wisdom above into one single quote.
“Happiness is when what you think” — gratitude, positivity, love, forgiveness, compassion — “what you say” — I love, I care, I forgive, I want to give, I want to do — “and what you do” — I am giving, I am doing, I am loving, I am forgiving — “are in harmony.”
Do you see the harmony? Do you see the alignment?
If you can align what you think, say, and do, then you’re living a life in harmony. Happiness is when we’re at peace with what we think, say and do.
I hope you choose to live a happy life too — I really do.
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