Resentment is like drinking poison and then hoping it will kill your enemies.
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.
A Nation should not be judged by how it treats its highest citizens, but it’s lowest ones
Sometimes it falls upon a generation to be great, you can be that generation
I AM THE MASTER OF MY FATE AND THE CAPTAIN OF MY DESTINY.
Live life as though nobody is watching, and express yourself as though everyone is listening.
I am not an optimist, but a great believer of hope.
May your choices reflect your hopes, not your fears.
Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.
A good head and good heart are always a formidable combination. But when you add to that a literate tongue or pen, then you have something very special.
It reaffirmed my long-held belief that education was the enemy of prejudice. These were men and women of science, and science had no room for racism.
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.
And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.
When a man is denied the right to live the life he believes in, he has no choice but to become an outlaw.
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.
Freedom is indivisible; the chains on any one of my people were the chains on all of them, the chains on all of my people were the chains on me.
When the women begin to take an active part in the struggle, no power on earth can stop us from achieving freedom in our lifetime.
Of course you cannot know a man completely, his character, his principles, sense of judgement, not till he’s shown his colors, run the people, making laws. Experience, there’s the test.
If you want to make peace with your enemy, you have to work with your enemy. Then he becomes your partner. -Nelson Mandela, activist, South African president, Nobel Peace Prize (b. 1918)
A leader. . .is like a shepherd. He stays behind the flock, letting the most nimble go out ahead, whereupon the others follow, not realizing that all along they are being directed from behind.
To deny people of their human rights is to challenge their very humanity.
Peace is not just the absence of conflict; peace is the creation of an environment where all can flourish regardless of race, color, creed, religion, gender, class, caste or any other social markers of difference.
If I preached unity, I must act like a unifier, even at the risk of perhaps alienating some of my own colleagues.
Courage is not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it.
I loved it in the unconditional way that children love their first home.
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.
Courageous people do not fear forgiving, for the sake of peace.
If wealth is a magnet, poverty is a kind of repellent.
There is nothing like returning to a place that remains unchanged to find the ways in which you yourself have altered.
There is little to be said in favour of poverty, but it was often an incubator of true friendship. Many people will appear to befriend you when you are wealthy, but precious few will do the same when you are poor
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
If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head. If you talk to him in his language, that goes to his heart.
Without language, one cannot talk to people and understand them; one cannot share their hopes and aspirations, grasp their history, appreciate their poetry, or savor their songs.
It is a simple tale, but its message is an enduring one: virtue and generosity will be rewarded in ways that one cannot know.
What I took out of them was that character was measured by facing up to difficult situations and that a hero was a man who would not break even under the most trying circumstances.
Some men, under the pressure of incarceration, showed true mettle, while others revealed themselves as less than what they had appeared to be.
I am not a saint, unless you think of a saint as a sinner who keeps on trying.
There is a universal respect and even admiration for those who are humble and simple by nature, and who have absolute confidence in all human beings irrespective of their social status.
When you are young and strong…you can stay alive on your hatred”….but realized later “They can take everything from me except my mind and heart”Nelson Mandela from Long Walk to Freedom
It was not lack of ability that limited my people, but lack of opportunity.
Crime must be brought under control… Freedom without civility, freedom without the ability to live in peace, was not true freedom at all.
We owe our children – the most vulnerable citizens in any society – a life free from violence and fear.
After climbing a great hill, one only finds that there are many more hills to climb.
A blind pursuit of cheap popularity has nothing to do with revolu
This document [the Reconstruction and Development Programme] was translated into a simpler manifesto called ‘A Better Life for All’, which in turn became the ANC’s campaign slogan.
It is not my ambition to marry a white woman or swim in a white pool. It is political equality that we want.
Lead from the back — and let others believe they are in front.
Lead from the front — but don t leave your base behind.
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… Man’s goodness is a flame that can be hidden but never extinguished.
It is said that no one truly knows a nation until one has been inside its jails. A nation should not be judged by how it treats its highest citizens, but its lowest ones.
We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us it’s in everyone.
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.
Sabotage did not involve loss of life, and it offered the best hope for future race relations. Bitterness would be kept to a minimum and, if the policy bore fruit, democratic government could become a reality.
If there are dreams about a beautiful South Africa, there are also roads that lead to their goal. Two of these roads could be named Goodness and Forgiveness.
If you want to make peace with your enemy, you have to work with your enemy. Then he becomes your partner.
Does anybody really think that they didn’t get what they had because they didn’t have the talent or the strength or the endurance or the commitment?
There is no easy walk to freedom anywhere, and many of us will have to pass through the valley of the shadow of death again and again before we reach the mountaintop of our desires.
There is nothing I fear more than waking up without a program that will help me bring a little happiness to those with no resources, those who are poor, illiterate, and ridden with terminal disease.
I have retired, but if there’s anything that would kill me it is to wake up in the morning not knowing what to do.
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.
Africans require, want, the franchise on the basis of one man one vote. They want political independence.
We must use time wisely and forever realize that the time is always ripe to do right.
There are so many men and women who hold no distinctive positions but whose contribution towards the development of society has been enormous.
A good head and a good heart are always a formidable combination.
A good leader can engage in a debate frankly and thoroughly, knowing that at the end he and the other side must be closer, and thus emerge stronger. You don’t have that idea when you are arrogant, superficial, and uninformed.
Never, never and never again shall it be that this beautiful land will again experience the oppression of one by another.
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.
If the United States of America or Britain is having elections, they don’t ask for observers from Africa or from Asia. But when we have elections, they want observers.
Before I went to jail, I was active in politics as a member of South Africa’s leading organization – and I was generally busy from 7 A.M. until midnight. I never had time to sit and think.
When I came to Johannesburg from the countryside, I knew nobody, but many strangers were very kind to me. I then was dragged into politics, and then, subsequently, I became a lawyer.
There are many people who feel that it is useless and futile to continue talking about peace and non-violence against a government whose only reply is savage attacks on an unarmed and defenseless people.
Money won’t create success, the freedom to make it will.
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.
The education I received was a British education, in which British ideas, British culture, British institutions, were automatically assumed to be superior. There was no such thing as African culture.
Whatever position I occupied, it was the result of colleagues – of my comrades in the movement – who had decided in their wisdom to use me for the purpose of focusing the attention of the country and the international community on me.
I dream of an Africa which is in peace with itself.
Intervention only works when the people concerned seem to be keen for peace.
Only free men can negotiate. A prisoner cannot enter into contracts.
There can be no keener revelation of a society’s soul than the way in which it treats its children.
I should tie myself to no particular system of society other than of socialism.
Let freedom reign. The sun never set on so glorious a human achievement.
I will not leave South Africa, nor will I surrender. Only through hardship, sacrifice and militant action can freedom be won. The struggle is my life. I will continue fighting for freedom until the end of my days.
Our single most important challenge is therefore to help establish a social order in which the freedom of the individual will truly mean the freedom of the individual.
Communists have always played an active role in the fight by colonial countries for their freedom, because the short-term objects of Communism would always correspond with the long-term objects of freedom movements.