Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela
18 July 1918 – 5 December 2013
A world icon, an African hero, and a true revolutionary.
Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.
I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. I felt fear myself more times than I can remember, but I hid it behind a mask of boldness. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.
For to be free is not merely to cast off one’s chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others.
If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head. If you talk to him in his language, that goes to his heart.
No country can really develop unless its citizens are educated.
In my country we go to prison first and then become President.
I was called a terrorist yesterday, but when I came out of jail, many people embraced me, including my enemies, and that is what I normally tell other people who say those who are struggling for liberation in their country are terrorists.
I have always regarded myself, in the first place, as an African patriot.
The titanic effort that has brought liberation to South Africa, and ensured the total liberation of Africa, constitutes an act of redemption for the Black people of the world.
During my lifetime I have dedicated myself to this struggle of the African people. I have fought against white domination, and I have fought against black domination. I have cherished the ideal of a democratic and free society in which all persons live together in harmony with equal opportunities. It is an ideal which I hope to live for and to see realised. But if needs be, it is an ideal for which I am prepared to die.
Courageous people do not fear forgiving, for the sake of peace.
I can’t pretend that I’m brave and that I can beat the whole world.
Our human compassion binds us the one to the other – not in pity or patronizingly, but as human beings who have learned how to turn our common suffering into hope for the future.
There is no such thing as part freedom.
The greatest glory in living lies not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall.
Any man or institution that tries to rob me of my dignity will lose.
Where globalization means, as it so often does, that the rich and powerful now have new means to further enrich and empower themselves at the cost of the poorer and weaker, we have a responsibility to protest in the name of universal freedom.
If the United States of America or Britain is having elections, they don’t ask for observers from Africa or from Asia. But when we have elections, they want observers.
A good leader can engage in a debate frankly and thoroughly, knowing that at the end he and the other side must be closer, and thus emerge stronger. You don’t have that idea when you are arrogant, superficial, and uninformed.
There is no easy walk to freedom anywhere, and many of us will have to pass through the valley of the shadow of death again and again before we reach the mountaintop of our desires.
I dream of an Africa which is in peace with itself.
Overcoming poverty is not a task of charity, it is an act of justice. Like Slavery and Apartheid, poverty is not natural. It is man-made and it can be overcome and eradicated by the actions of human beings. Sometimes it falls on a generation to be great. YOU can be that great generation. Let your greatness blossom.
As I walked out the door toward the gate that would lead to my freedom, I knew if I didn’t leave my bitterness and hatred behind, I’d still be in prison.
I am not a saint, unless you think of a saint as a sinner who keeps on trying.
There is no passion to be found playing small—in settling for a life that is less than the one you are capable of living.
I was not a messiah, but an ordinary man who had become a leader because of extraordinary circumstances.
Death is something inevitable. When a man has done what he considers to be his duty to his people and his country, he can rest in peace. I believe I have made that effort and that is, therefore, why I will sleep for the eternity.
One is not born hating another person because of the colour of his skin, or his background, or his religion. People must learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love, for love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite.
image – lasanta.com.ec