The world lost a great icon of peaceful resistance, Nelson Mandela on the 5th of December 2013 at age 95.Loved by diverse groups all over the world, he will remain a symbol of what love and forgiveness can achieve for a nation. I wish I had met him while he was still with us. I find it amazing that after being part of the struggle to emancipate black people against segregation & apartheid and being imprisoned for 27 years,he emerged stronger with a heart ready to forgive. Nelson Mandela brought the nation together in ways that noone else can ever do.
He was a long time champion of the anti-apartheid movement and former president of South Africa.His mission and passionate belief in humanity led him to fight racial equality and catalyze an end to segregation and poverty. His words have inspired and motivated millions of people over the years.
One of my favorite authors, Chinua Achebe once said, ‘Charity is the opium of the priviledged’. This statement rings true in my worldview. It only follows that one of my favorite qoutes from Mandela is that “Overcoming poverty is not a task of charity – it is an act of justice.” A statement filled with wisdom, that has become my belief with regard to seeing the eradication of poverty as social justice.
To celebrate the life he lived, here is a curation of some of his inspiring qoutes.
His legacy will live on. May our lives be inspired by the selfless acts of this great man.Our world has lost a beloved son.
“Never, never and never again shall it be that this beautiful land will experience the oppression of one by another.” – Nelson Mandela
“Like slavery and apartheid, poverty is not natural. It is people who have made poverty and tolerated poverty, and it is people who will overcome it. And overcoming poverty is not a gesture of charity. It is an act of justice. It is the protection of a fundamental human right, the right to dignity and a decent life.” —Ambassador of Conscience Award Acceptance Speech, November 01, 2006
“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.” —Long Walk to Freedom: The Autobiography of Nelson Mandela
“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.”- Nelson Mandela
“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”.- Nelson Mandela
“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.” Nelson Mandela
“I have walked that long road to freedom. I have tried not to falter; I have made missteps along the way. But I have discovered the secret that after climbing a great hill, one only finds that there are many more hills to climb. I have taken a moment”- Nelson Mandela
“I was made, by the law, a criminal, not because of what I had done, but because of what I stood for, because of what I thought, because of my conscience.” (Nelson Mandela Statement during trial, 1962)
“If you want to make peace with your enemy, you have to work with your enemy. Then he becomes your partner.” (From Long Walk to Freedom, 1995)
“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.” (South Africa, July 14, 2000)
“Everyone can rise above their circumstances and achieve success if they are dedicated to and passionate about what they do.”- Nelson Mandela
“A good head and a good heart are always a formidable combination.”- Nelson Mandela
Tribute to Nelson Mandela by Sifiso Maposa.
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