Nelson Mandela Quotes

Nelson Mandela

Nelson Mandela (18 July 1918 – 5 December 2013) was a South African anti-apartheid revolutionary, politician and philanthropist who served as President of South Africa from 1994 to 1999. He was South Africa’s first black chief executive, and the first elected in a fully representative democratic election. His government focused on dismantling the legacy of apartheid through tackling institutionalised racism, poverty and inequality, and fostering racial reconciliation. Politically an African nationalist and democratic socialist, he served as President of the African National Congress (ANC) from 1991 to 1997.

He gained international acclaim for his activism, having received more than 250 honours, including the 1993 Nobel Peace Prize, the US Presidential Medal of Freedom, and the Soviet Order of Lenin. He is held in deep respect within South Africa, where he is often referred to by his Xhosa clan name, Madiba, or as Tata (“Father”); he is often described as “the father of the nation”.

“A winner is a dreamer who never gives up”.

“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.”

“Appearances matter — and remember to smile.”

“The brave man is not the one who has no fears, he is the one who triumphs over his fears.”

“Keep your friends close — and your rivals even closer.”

“As I have said, the first thing is to be honest with yourself. You can never have an impact on society if you have not changed yourself… Great peacemakers are all people of integrity, of honesty, but humility.”

“ As we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.”

“I am the captain of my soul.”

“One cannot be prepared for something while secretly believing it will not happen.”

“After climbing a great hill, one only finds that there are many more hills to climb.”

“One of the things I learned when I was negotiating was that until I changed myself, I could not change others.”

“When a man is denied the right to live the life he believes in, he has no choice but to become an outlaw.”

“I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.”

“It always seems impossible until it’s done.”

“Nothing is black or white.”

“You will achieve more in this world through acts of mercy than you will through acts of retribution.”

“Where you stand depends on where you sit.”

“Live life as though nobody is watching, and express yourself as though everyone is listening.”

“A leader. . .is like a shepherd. He stays behind the flock, letting the most nimble go out ahead, whereupon the others follow, not realizing that all along they are being directed from behind.”

“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”

“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.”

“It is not where you start but how high you aim that matters for success.”

“I am fundamentally an optimist. Whether that comes from nature or nurture, I cannot say. Part of being optimistic is keeping one’s head pointed toward the sun, one’s feet moving forward. There were many dark moments when my faith in humanity was sorely tested, but I would not and could not give myself up to despair. That way lays defeat and death.”

“A good head and good heart are always a formidable combination. But when you add to that a literate tongue or pen, then you have something very special.”

“Courage is not the absence of fear — it s inspiring others to move beyond it.”

“No one is born hating another person because of the color 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.”

“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.”

“Resentment is like drinking poison and then hoping it will kill your enemies.”

“The greatest glory in living
lies not in never falling,
but in rising every time we fall.”

“Lead from the back — and let others believe they are in front.”

“I am not a saint, unless you think of a saint as a sinner who keeps on trying.”

“There is nothing like returning to a place that remains unchanged to find the ways in which you yourself have altered.”

“Do not judge me by my successes, judge me by how many times I fell down and got back up again.”

“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.”

“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.”

“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.”

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About the alchemist

Out beyond ideas of wrong doing and right doing, there is a field. I'll meet you there. When the soul lies down in that grass, the world is too full to talk about. Ideas, language, even the phrase each other doesn't make any sense. ~Rumi
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2 Responses to Nelson Mandela Quotes

  1. Patricia Ann says:

    Oh, how I love your posts! They help to feed my soul! Thank you!

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