Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela, the global statesman who delivered South Africa from the dark days of apartheid, died on Thursday, December 05, 2013 at aged 95. He died in the company of his family.
Time of Death: 8:50pm
We wish to share some lifelong inspirational words from him. May it inspire all of us in our day-to-day activities:
1. Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.
2. When a man is denied the right to live the life he believes in, he has no choice but to become an outlaw.
3. 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.
4. 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.
5. 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.
6. It always seems impossible until it’s done.
7. 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.
8. Resentment is like drinking poison and then hoping it will kill your enemies.
9. There is nothing like returning to a place that remains unchanged to find the ways in which you yourself have altered.
10. 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 here to rest, to steal a view of the glorious vista that surrounds me, to look back on the distance I have come. But I can only rest for a moment, for with freedom come responsibilities, and I dare not linger, for my long walk is not ended.
11. Lead from the back — and let others believe they are in front.
12. I am not a saint, unless you think of a saint as a sinner who keeps on trying.
13. The greatest glory in living lies not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall.
14. 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.
15. Do not judge me by my successes, judge me by how many times I fell down and got back up again.
16. 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.
17. 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.
18. 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.
19. As we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.
20. Where you stand depends on where you sit.
21. 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.
22. One of the things I learned when I was negotiating was that until I changed myself, I could not change others.
23. It is said that no one truly knows a nation until one has been inside its jails. A nation should not be judged by how it treats its highest citizens, but its lowest ones.
24. 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.
25. Courage is not the absence of fear — its inspiring others to move beyond it.
26. Appearances matter — and remember to smile.
27. We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, handsome, talented and fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be?
Photo credit: EPA/KIM Ludbrook