Mahatma Gandhi (1869-1948)

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“Be the change you want to see in the world.”

Gandhi was responsible for a revolution of civil disobedience. Violence is not the only way to fight a foe. Non-violent confrontation can be a powerful weapon. To Ghandi, turning the other cheek, an oft-misinterpreted notion, meant enduring mistreatment without sinking to the level of one’s foe. By enduring mistreatment without retreating, one can more effectively bring the moral failings of the oppressor to light.

As the recipient simply refuses to back down, and as the oppression escalates, the oppressor brings shame upon himself and his actions become more widely known. The oppressor ultimately learns that the recipient of his mistreatment cannot be turned aside. A non-inflammatory form of disobedience, this method of resistance, as well as Gandhi’s hunger strikes worked to bring about the noble goal of liberating India from the British Empire.

Gandhi struck blows to the heart of his opposition by not playing by its rules, while simultaneously showcasing the immorality of these rules to the whole world. His methods were employed in the good works of Martin Luther King Jr. and Nelson Mandela.

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