Former South African President and Nobel Peace Prize laureate, Nelson Mandela died at 95 on Thursday, December 5th, 2013.
…a civil rights activist, teacher, freedom fighter, “Father of the Nation,” political prisoner, father, husband and an inspiration to the entire global community.
Fondly referred by many as “Madiba” , this man of the people steered the course of world power, changed the destiny of a nation and defended the dignity and infallibility of human rights for generations of African people. After imprisonment, a historic presidency and international recognition Mandela will likely still be most remembered for his smile, gentle nature, sweet dance moves and wisdom.
When I heard about Mandela’s death, the saddest part of it for me is that my children will never understand the enormity of what his life represents. It’s something that I personally find hard to grasp. I intellectually know and accept that one life can affect many. To have had a living example of this is such a blessing. One that I hope my children will have in the world they eventually will inherit from us.
Mandela’s life is a reality check for me personally. I too often let small frustrations, irritations and perceived limitations weigh me down. He of course was human as are the rest of us and must have had his down days also. He still though showed the world what the human spirit can accomplish. That is a large part of what I took from his life and that I hope to impart to my children, to be confident in taking a stand for what you know is right despite your circumstances and influences of the times. You can prevail.
It always seems impossible until it’s done. ~ Nelson Mandela
There is no doubt that Mandela is and will be remembered by his family, friends and those who knew and met with him personally. He though will as well be remembered by those of us he touched and influenced from afar. Through his deeds and words he has truly left the world a lot better place than how he found it.
“We will always love Madiba for teaching us that it is possible to overcome hatred and anger in order to build a new nation and a new society,” ~ South African President Jacob Zuma
For me personally, I will always find courage, strength and inspiration to persevere through his timeless example and the words of wisdom he left behind. Below are ten of my favorite Madiba quotes. These aren’t my ten favorites but just ten of my favorites.
“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.”
“A good head and a good heart are always a formidable combination.”
“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,”
“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.”
“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.”
“Money won’t create success, the freedom to make it will.”
“To deny people their human rights is to challenge their very humanity.”
“I was not a messiah, but an ordinary man who had become a leader because of extraordinary circumstances.”
“Courageous people do not fear forgiving, for the sake of peace.”
“I am confident that nobody… will accuse me of selfishness if I ask to spend time, while I am still in good health, with my family, my friends and also with myself.”
What stands out the most in your mind when you hear the name “Nelson Mandela”. Has his example influenced your life? Do you have a favorite quote not listed above. Please comment below and let me know.