Nelson Mandela’s life came to an end on Dec 5, 2013. Though he is no longer physically here on this world, his legacy will last a life time.
The former President of South Africa, a Nobel Peace Prize Winner, and a leader for equality and human rights, he is a modern day champion for using non-violent methods to win over the hearts of the people. Mandela had the ability to inspire and empower countless individuals to better themselves, so that they may better the world in their own unique way.
I came across a few Nelson Mandela tributes and I decided to pick out his most memorable life quotes to elaborate on. His words of wisdom can change the perspectives we have in this world.
“Poverty is not an accident. Like slavery and apartheid, it is man-made and can be removed by the actions of human beings.” – Nelson Mandela
I really thought deeply about this quote when I saw it. The truth to it is beyond measure. It is in the power of humans to CHOOSE to do good or bad. External forces may sway you, but in the end, we can blame no one but ourselves for the state we are in today.
“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world”. – Nelson Mandela
What Nelson means is beyond just school and teachers, when he means education, he means from your parents, your peers, your mentors, etc. We are all responsible for each other’s education. If you tell a young child that black people are dangerous, then that child will grow up thinking that way. We must learn to keep an open mind and accept all people in this world.
“Resentment is like drinking poison and then hoping it will kill your enemies”. – Nelson Mandela
This quote uses a similar metaphor to this quote by Buddha, “Holding on to anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else; you are the one who gets burned”. To resent, be angry, or hate someone only hurts yourself in the end. Inner peace comes from discovering yourself first.
“It is better to lead from behind and to put others in front, especially when you celebrate victory when nice things occur. You take the front line when there is danger. Then people will appreciate your leadership” – Nelson Mandela
The best leaders are usually the ones that are unseen. They lead, without appearing like a leader. When you win, the leader gives the trophy to the team. When there are problems, the leaders step up and take charge. These are the values of a selfless leader, and these are the most valued leaders. Can you do the same?
“Money won’t create success, the freedom to make it will” – Nelson Mandela
This quote hit me hard. Pretty much all our financial goal is to make more money. However, you ever hear about those who win the lottery and lose all of it 5 years later? It goes to show that money doesn’t give us what we want; it’s our ability to earn it that gives us the feeling of success. It is the journey to reach these abilities that give us fulfillment.
“It always seems impossible until its done.” – Nelson Mandela
We often think something is impossible. The mountain is too high. However, once we take our first steps, our momentum builds and in the end, it’s already done and you barely even notice it. It’s such a simple quote, with a supercharged meaning.
“There is no passion to be found playing small – in settling for life that is less than the one you are capable of living.” – Nelson Mandela
I found this to be Nelson Mandela’s best wisdom. So many of us set small goals that are achievable, but unfulfilling. We play small because we think that we don’t have the qualifications, abilities, or relationships to make it big. We as human beings are capable of great things, each and every one of us. It’s is time to make our mindsets and goals larger than life!