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Context

This famous line was (not really) spoken by Mahatma Gandhi.

You are watching: Eye for an eye makes the whole world blind

It"s constantly nice once things job-related out fairly. However we"re guessing the writer of Exodus weren"t being super literal as soon as they talked about "an eye for an eye"—someone shedding an eye in exchange for someone else shedding an eye most likely isn"t in anyone"s finest interests.

It basically method that when something terrible is excellent by someone, they deserve to have the exact same thing done to them. Like…if part goober drops and breaks her MacBook, climate it"s only fair because that you to take his MacBook and also break it.

Well, Gandhi wasn"t ~ above board with that. His quote "an eye because that an eye provides the whole people blind" is saying the if we keep punishing those us deem cruel, climate we"re no better than the negative guys ourselves. It"s the whole "you can"t settle violence with violence" spiel. 

To it is in fair, over there is some uncertainty as to whether Gandhi actually ever before said this words, and also even if the did, exactly how it walk exactly. Here are a couple of versions:

An eye for an eye makes the whole human being blind.An eye for an eye only makes the world blind.An eye because that an eye will make the people blind.An eye for an eye leaves the whole world blind.

Whether this was his heat or not, Gandhi most likely did enough great stuff in his lifetime to do the question moot. In the meantime…we"ll just provide it come him. He"s earn it.

Where you"ve heard it

People simply loooove to quote Gandhi. No that that"s a poor thing. He had actually a the majority of uplifting, positive stuff to say. If he was ever in a crabby mood, he sure didn"t let it show.

You"ll uncover this expression in a lot of of areas where someone"s do the efforts to it is in inspirational or encouraging others to "turn the other cheek," choose in this political write-up or in this anthology the poetry.

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Pretentious Factor

If you were to drop this quote in ~ a dinner party, would certainly you get an in-unison "awww" or would certainly everyone role their eyes and never invite friend back? right here it is, on a range of 1-10.

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We"d usually give a line prefer this a 6 or 7, considering just how grandiose the declare is—and the reality that it"s acquisition a typical figurative adage and also making it literal. Yet it"s Gandhi. He"s enabled to acquire away through a bit an ext than most.