Tuesday 21 October 2014

Nelson Mandela: Words of wisdom

Published 27/06/2013 | 13:00

Nelson Mandela pictured in 1990

Nelson Mandela was known for his inspirational words. Here are 20 of his most memorable quotes:

1. “It always seems impossible until it's done.”

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. “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.”

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

5. “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.”

6. “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.”

7. “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.”

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. “Lead from the back — and let others believe they are in front.”

11. “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.”

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

13. “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.”

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. “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.”

17. “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.”

18. “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.”

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

20. “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.”

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