(The following excerpt from Learning From Madiba: Six Important Lessons To Take From The Inspirational Life Of Nelson Mandela by Yasmine Hassan appeared on elite daily.com on December 9, 2013. To view it in its entirety click on the link below.)
December 5, 2013 will forever be remembered as the day humanity lost one of the most influential public personalities of our time. Nelson “Madiba” Mandela led a life that inspired generations upon generations of people who have read and studied his work and plight for human rights and justice. No matter how old or young, whether you heard his speeches or not, everyone knew Nelson Mandela’s story and everyone was profoundly touched by his life.
From a political prisoner on Robben Island to the President of South Africa and the leader of the anti-Apartheid Movement, Mandela dedicated his life to being the voice of the unheard and the suffering. He showed us that through kindness and love, mountains can be moved and dreams can in fact be achieved. His reconciliation with his oppressors showed us to be forgiving to one another rather than seek revenge.
Finally, his persistence and undeterred stance taught us the true meaning of standing up for what you believe in no matter what the situation around you may be.
So, as a tribute to the great man who has and will continue to inspire generations to come, here is a list of Nelson Mandela’s most influential quotes and what we can take away from them.
1. I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who is not afraid but he who conquers that fear.
2. For to be free is not merely to cast off one’s chain but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others.
3. Resentment is like drinking poison and then hoping it will kill your enemies.
4. Do not judge me by my successes; judge me by how many times I fell down and got back up.
5. 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 dreamed of.
6. 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.