Nelson Mandela

Mandela on perseverance:

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

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

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

“Difficulties break some men but make others.”

“Everyone can rise above their circumstances and achieve success if they are dedicated to and passionate about what they do.”

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

 

Mandela on faith and optimism:

“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.”

 

Mandela on freedom:

“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.”

 

Mandela on love and hate: 

“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.”

 

Mandela on self-examination:

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

“If I had my time over I would do the same again. So would any man who dares call himself a man.”

It is never my custom to use words lightly. If twenty-seven years in prison have done anything to us, it was to use the silence of solitude to make us understand how precious words are and how real speech is in its impact on the way people live and die.

 

Mandela on peace and forgiveness:

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

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

 

Mandela on conquering fear:

“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.”

 

Mandela on friends:

 “I like friends who have independent minds because they tend to make you see problems from all angles.”

 

Mandela on leadership:

“Real leaders must be ready to sacrifice all for the freedom of their people.”
“Lead from the back — and let others believe they are in front.”

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

Mandela on changing the world:

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

“A fundamental concern for others in our individual and community lives would go a long way in making the world the better place we so passionately dreamt of.”

“What counts in life is not the mere fact that we have lived. It is what difference we have made to the lives of others that will determine the significance of the life we lead.”

When the history of our times is written, will we be remembered as the generation that turned our backs in a moment of global crisis or will it be recorded that we did the right thing?

 

Mandela on death:

“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.”