South Africa’s first ever black president, a Nobel Peace Prize winner, and the most renowned icon of the anti-apartheid movement, Nelson Mandela, passed away at the age of 95 on December 5, 2013. Known as Madiba to people who loved and admired him, Mandela was a man who lived an impactful and fulfilling life. He was a man who created a mark on the world and history would always remember him as a great revolutionist who stood firmly for the rights of his people and overcame all odds to achieve them.
Mandela’s struggle is a long, inspiring account for the world. Spending 27 years in prison was part of his struggle against the South African apartheid regime involved. He persevered and gave hope to a nation that was riddled with despair and wrought with an inhumane system. Throughout his life, Mandela fought for peace and humanity. He continues a source of inspiration for countless and his words of wisdom remain etched in the memory of people who knew and/or otherwise admired him. Here are some of his inspiring, evergreen words that live along with us even now after he’s gone.
- “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.”
- “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.”
- “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.”
- “When a man is denied the right to live the life he believes in, he has no choice but to become an outlaw.”
- “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.”
- “It always seems impossible until it’s done.”
- “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.”
- “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.”
- “Lead from the back — and let others believe they are in front.”
- “There is nothing like returning to a place that remains unchanged to find the ways in which you yourself have altered.”