Happy Birthday to Nelson Mandela.

As a teen, I was greatly inspired by the South African struggle against apartheid. What a colossal struggle and what an amazing feat against all odds. Mandela is an inspiring icon of our times.
What I most appreciate about South African story is the Truth and Reconciliation Commission set up to heal the wounds of the people. Instead of allowing a cycle of violence to be perpetuated; instead of calling for retribution; instead of unleashing a lynch-mob, the post apartheid leaders embarked on the path of forgiveness and healing. An Amazing stroke of political genius.

Happy 90th Birthday, Nelson Mandela.

The following is a list of quotations from Mandela:

Let freedom reign. The sun never set on so glorious a human achievement.

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.

A good head and a good heart are always a formidable combination.

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

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

I detest racialism, because I regard it as a barbaric thing, whether it comes from a black man or a white man.

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.

If there are dreams about a beautiful South Africa, there are also roads that lead to their goal. Two of these roads could be named Goodness and Forgiveness.

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.

If you want to make peace with your enemy, you have to work with your enemy. Then he becomes your partner.

In my country we go to prison first and then become President.

It always seems impossible until its done.

It is better to lead from behind and to put others in front, especially when you celebrate victory when nice things occur. You take the front line when there is danger. Then people will appreciate your leadership.

Let there be work, bread, water and salt for all.

Money won’t create success, the freedom to make it will.

There can be no keener revelation of a society’s soul than the way in which it treats its children.

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.

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.

There is no such thing as part freedom.

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

We must use time wisely and forever realize that the time is always ripe to do right.

And finally, a quote from his trial in 1964:

‘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 and with equal opportunities. It is an ideal which I hope to live for and to achieve. But if needs be, it is an ideal for which I am prepared to die.’

Advertisements