“First they ignore you. Then they ridicule you. Then they fight you. Then you win.”
This passage is usually attributed to Mahatma Gandhi, who is known for his belief in non-violent resistance in political struggles. Some sources suggest it’s apocryphal, rather like George Washington’s “I cannot tell a lie.’ It sounds like something we hope the legendary figure would say, so we believe it.
As I understand his views, strength employed in the service of violence, or revenge, or bad intentions, whether in thought, word or deed, are acts of weakness, not strength.
Whether Gandhi actually said those words is irrelevant. The wisdom they impart is undeniably true. People who seek freedom from bullies and strongmen of any stripe can take comfort in the predictability of their enemies’ reactions and use their foe’s strength against them.