Mahatma Gandhi is a well-known figure in the world. He inspired the likes of Martin Luther King Jr. and many others. It’s no surprise that a lot of people find his words very inspiring and encouraging.
But it’s one thing to inspire people with what you have actually said and a whole different thing to inspire people with words you have never said. The internet loves to misattribute quotes to Gandhi and we would like to clarify what he actually said.
4 Things Gandhi Didn’t Say But Everyone Thinks He Did
First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.
Okay, so even I didn’t know Gandhi didn’t say that. It’s been repeated so many times on so many different occasions, that it is inconceivable that it wasn’t said by Gandhi.
In fact, more recently, the Republican Presidential nominee Donald Trump tweeted this quote and attributed it to Gandhi.
So if Gandhi didn’t say it, who did?
A trade unionist named Nicholas Klein in 1918 said the following:
And, my friends, in this story you have a history of this entire movement. First they ignore you. Then they ridicule you. And then they attack you and want to burn you. And then they build monuments to you. And that, is what is going to happen to the Amalgamated Clothing Workers of America.
It’s a mystery to this date how this quote from a random person got attributed to the most inspiring figure of the last century.
The amazing part is that someone rephrased the quote so that it is short and sweet. That made it printable, marketable and easy to memorize.
Be the change you wish to see in the world.
Yup, he didn’t say that either. Once again, it is short and sweet and is misattributed to him because it is widely believed his grandson said it. No one knows or cares about the grandson, so let’s just say that Gandhi said it because it is believable.
An eye for an eye will make the whole world blind.
This one too, Gandhi never said that.
Live as if you were to die tomorrow; learn as if you were to live forever.
A variation of this quote appeared as 1867. Gandhi was born in 1869. I rest my case.
By the way, the quote went something like this:
Study as if you were to die tomorrow…
So you see, the most famous of quotes that you thought were from Gandhi are actually just misattributed to him due to his place in history.
Some people are just lucky like that.
Image Credit: Alex Gorzen