For 67 years, Nelson Mandela, former President of South Africa and freedom fighter devoted his life to the service of humanity — as a human rights lawyer, a prisoner of conscience, an international peacemaker and the first democratically elected president of a free South Africa.
His death on December 5, 2013 even at the ripe age of 95 was considered a colossal loss not only to Africa but to the world. During his long life, Mandela inspired countless individuals.
In November 2009, the UN General Assembly declared July 18 ‘Nelson Mandela International Day’ in recognition of his contribution to the culture of peace and freedom. Every July 18, UN asks individuals around the world to mark the Nelson Mandela International Day by making a difference in their communities.
Were he still alive, the Nobel Prize for Peace winner would have turned 99 today.
Here is a collection of 15 of his famous quotes:
- It is easy to break down and destroy. The heroes are those who make peace and build.
- Difficulties break some men but make others. No axe is sharp enough to cut the soul of a sinner who keeps on trying, one armed with the hope that he will rise even in the end.
- It always seems impossible until it’s done.
- If I had my time over I would do the same again. So would any man who dares call himself a man.
- I like friends who have independent minds because they tend to make you see problems from all angles.
- Real leaders must be ready to sacrifice all for the freedom of their people.
- A fundamental concern for others in our individual and community lives would go a long way in making the world the better place we so passionately dreamt of.
- Everyone can rise above their circumstances and achieve success if they are dedicated to and passionate about what they do.
- Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.
- Without education, your children can never really meet the challenges they will face. So it’s very important to give children education and explain that they should play a role for their country
- 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.”
- 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.
- Resentment is like drinking poison and then hoping it will kill your enemies.
- Lead from the back — and let others believe they are in front.
- Do not judge me by my successes, judge me by how many times I fell down and got back up again.