The question of whether leaders are born or made is a subject of debate, but the life of Gandhi provides a clear answer: leaders are made. Gandhi was an ordinary lawyer at the beginning of his life, but the incidents he experienced helped him to find his purpose. One such incident was his humiliation and discrimination in the first-class section of a train in South Africa, which spurred him to fight for a cause.
There are many ways to fight for a cause, including violent means, democratic solutions, Byzantine games, and non-violent means. Gandhi chose the non-violent way, influenced by his study of the philosophy of nonviolence in Hindu sacred scripture and the Christian Bible. He was a small, shy man who had no profile for physical fighting or encouraging others to do so. His struggle in South Africa was a preparation and education for his future non-violent war in India. His experiences and choices made him a leader.
If Gandhi had stayed in London instead of going to South Africa, he would have been an ordinary lawyer for the rest of his life. The story of Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, the founder of modern Turkey, is similar. His experiences in military academy, serving in various Ottoman territories, and becoming a war hero in Gallipoli prepared him to become a nationwide leader in Turkey.
A leader is like a meal; certain natural ingredients are needed, and there is a specific way of cooking. The process of cooking a leader involves learning and experiences as the ingredients and problems as the high heat that cooks them. In conclusion, leaders are made through their experiences and choices.