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Notable Quotes: Inspiring Words from Mahatma Gandhi

March 28, 2024

The following quotes from Mahatma Ghandi were collected by SLC member Bruce Blitman. Readers may find that they are particularly relevant to lawyers.

Before he became known as the Mahatma (“Great Soul”), leader of the successful nationalist movement against British rule, Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi was a lawyer. Over the course of his 25 years as a practicing attorney, he gradually became an activist lawyer. By the time he ended his legal career to devote his life to ending colonialism, his entire law practice consisted of matters that reflected his political, moral, and spiritual beliefs.

Charles R. DiSalvo, professor at West Virginia University’s College of Law and author of the book The Man Before The Mahatma: M.K. Gandhi, Attorney at Law said in a Notable Quote of his own, “To me that is a goal for myself and for all lawyers: That we should have practices that, in some respect, our practices are an expression of who we are politically, morally, and spiritually.”

  • “First, they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.”
  • “A man is the sum of his actions, of what he has done, of what he can do, nothing else.”
  • “Where there is love there is life.”
  • “Earth provides enough to satisfy every man’s needs, but not every man’s greed.”
  • “If we are to teach real peace in this world, and if we are to carry a real war against war, we shall have to begin with the children.”

“An eye for eye only ends up making the whole world blind.”

  • “Peace is the most powerful weapon of mankind.”
  • “In a gentle way, you can shake the world.”
  • “You must be the change you want to see in the world.”
  • “The true measure of any society can be found in how it treats its most vulnerable members.”
  • “Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony.”

“Live as if you were to die tomorrow; learn as if you were to live forever.”

  • “The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.”
  • “A ‘No’ uttered from the deepest conviction is better than ‘Yes’ merely uttered to please, or worse, to avoid trouble.”
  • “The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong.”
  • “The future depends on what we do in the present.”