Inspirational quotes and sayings by Nelson Mandela

Nelson Mandela lived a remarkable life which in itself provided inspiration not only to a nation, but to people all around the world.

nelson-mandela-inspirational-quotes-and-sayingsBorn on 18 July 1918 in Mveso, Transkei, South Africa, Nelson Mandela grew up in a racially divided South Africa.  In his twenties he became actively involved in the anti-apartheid movement the ANC (African National Congress).  In 1963 Nelson Mandela was sentenced to life imprisonment.

In 1985, President P.W. Botha offered Nelson Mandela his release in exchange for renouncing armed struggle; he  flatly rejected the offer

At the age of 71, Nelson Mandela was finally released from prison on February 11, 1990 by President F W de Klerk . He was inaugurated as the country’s first black president.

The man who was once called a revolutionary became one of the most  loved and admired leader the world over.

Inspirational quotes by Nelson Mandela

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

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

“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.”

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

“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.”

“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 a good heart are always a formidable combination.”

“It always seems impossible until it is done.”

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

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

“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.”

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

“Does anybody really think that they didn’t get what they had because they didn’t have the talent or the strength or the endurance or the commitment?”

“Any man or institution that tries to rob me of my dignity will lose.”

“I was not a messiah, but an ordinary man who had become a leader because of extraordinary circumstances.”

“To deny people their human rights is to challenge their very humanity.”

“It is wise to persuade people to do things and make them think it was their own idea.”

“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.”

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

“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.”

“…the first thing is to be honest with yourself. You can never have an impact on society if you have not changed yourself..”

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

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

“Appearances matter — and remember to smile.”

“We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, handsome, talented and fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be?”

 Nelson Mandela died on 5th December 2013.  His legacy of a non-segregated South Africa is a testament to a great man who spent his life fighting for equality and human rights.

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