Celebrating A Century Of Nelson Mandela With His Most Timeless Quotes

Nelson Mandela

The notable Nelson Mandela committed his life to fighting inequality and apartheid in his home country of South Africa. Through his humbling work, the inspirational leader became a revolutionary and global symbol of courage and determination, compassion, and forgiveness.


Today, we pay homage to the philanthropic icon on what would have been his 100th birthday by sharing some of his most timeless words that demonstrate Mandela’s powerful character as both a man and leader.


Nelson Mandela


“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.”


“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.”


“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.”


“As we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.”


“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.”


Nelson Mandela


“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.”


“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.”


“Like slavery and apartheid, poverty is not natural. It is man-made and it can be overcome and eradicated by the actions of human beings. And overcoming poverty is not a gesture of charity. It is an act of justice. It is the protection of a fundamental human right, the right to dignity and a decent life. While poverty persists, there is no true freedom.”


“A nation should not be judged by how it treats its highest citizens, but its lowest ones.”


“It always seems impossible until it’s done.”


Nelson Mandela


“To deny people their human rights is to challenge their very humanity.”


“I have walked that long road to freedom. I have tried not to falter; I have made missteps along the way. But I have discovered the secret that after climbing a great hill, one only finds that there are many more hills to climb.”


“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.”


“Our human compassion binds us the one to the other — not in pity or patronizingly, but as human beings who have learnt how to turn our common suffering into hope for the future.”


“I have cherished the ideal of a democratic and free society in which all persons live together in harmony and with equal opportunities. It is an ideal which I hope to live for and to achieve. But if needs be, it is an ideal for which I am prepared to die.”


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