How Did Mahatma Gandhi Change the World?

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Throughout the 1930s and 1940s, Mahatma Gandhi headed India’s movement for independence by challenging the British not with violence and weapons, but with peaceful protests and stirring inspirational speeches. Gandhi shared his vision of civilization when he said “An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind.”

Known as one of the most influential activists in history, Gandhi modeled both his methods and philosophy after Jesus Christ. In turn, Gandhi’s works inspired Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in his civil rights efforts. In addition to King, Gandhi’s work and spirit inspired Latino civil rights leader Cesar Chavez, who was inspired by a news report he saw as a child portraying the “half-naked man” conquering the mighty British without a gun.

Rather than calling for a chaotic and violent end to oppression, Gandhi sought to lift his people, saying his life was his message, and inspiring followers to “…be the change [they] want to see in the world.” His viewpoint was that when people change the way they think and feel, they change the actions they take, and in doing so change the world around them. While this method of activism requires time to affect true widespread change, the results are long-lasting. Gandhi’s revolutionary perspective is embraced by many activists today.