Nelson Mandela Quotes

Nelson Mandela Quotes On Leadership, Forgiveness, and Injustice

Melson Mandela Quotes on leadership

“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.”

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

“We must strive to be moved by a generosity of spirit that will enable us to outgrow the hatred and conflicts of the past.”

“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.”

“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.”

“It is not the kings and generals that make history but the masses of people.” 

“One of the things I learned when I was negotiating was that until I changed myself, I could not change others.”

“After climbing a great hill, one only finds that the are many more hills to climb.”

“Money won’t create success. The freedom to make it will.” — Nelson Mandela

“There can be no keener revelation of a society’s soul than the way in which it treats its children.” 

“One cannot be prepared for something while secretly believing it will not happen.” 

 “There can be no keener revelation of a society’s soul than the way in which it treats its children.”

.“Overcoming poverty is not a task of charity, it is an act of justice.” 

.“A man is never more truthful than when he acknowledges himself a liar.” 

.“It was during those long & lonely years that my hunger for the freedom of my people became a hunger for the freedom of all people.” 

“Honesty, sincerity, simplicity, humility, pure generosity, absence of vanity, readiness to  serve others – qualities which are within easy reach of every soul – are the foundation of one’s spiritual life.”

“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.”

“Courageous people do not fear to forgive for the sake of peace.”

“There were many dark moments when my faith in humanity was sorely tested, but I would not and could not give myself up to despair.  That way lies defeat and death.”

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

 “There is nothing like returning to a place that remains unchanged to find the ways in which you yourself have altered.”

“A good head and a good heart are always a formidable combination.”

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

There can be no greater gift than that of giving one’s time and energy to help others without expecting anything in return.”

 “Education is the great engine of personal development. It is through education that the daughter of a peasant can become a doctor, that the son of a mineworker can become the head of the mine, that a child of farm workers can become the president of a great nation. It is what we make out of what we have, not what we are given, that separates one person from another.”

. “If you want the cooperation of humans around you, you must make them feel they are important – and you do that by being genuine and humble.”

 “A winner is a dreamer who never gives up.”

 “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.”

 “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.”

“Tread softly, Breathe peacefully, Laugh hysterically.”

. “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 can be no greater gift than that of giving one’s time and energy to help others without expecting anything in return.”

 “It is what we make out of what we have, not what we are given, that separates one person from another.”

. “Live life as though nobody is watching, and express yourself as though everyone is listening.”

. “Poverty is not an accident. Like slavery and apartheid, it is man made and can be removed by the actions of human beings.”

. “Fools multiply when wise men are silent.”

 “When a deep injury is done to us, we never heal until we forgive.” 

 “Forgiveness liberates the soul. It removes fear. That is why it is such a powerful weapon.”

. “I never lose. I either win or learn.”

. “It is what we make out of what we have, not what we are given, that separates one person from another.”

. “What counts in life is not the mere fact that we have lived; it is what difference we have made to the lives of others that will determine the significance of the life we lead.”

. “If people can learn to hate, they can be taught to love, for love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite.”

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

 “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 quotes forgiveness

“Reconciliation does not mean forgetting or trying to bury the pain of conflict, but that reconciliation means working together to correct the legacy of past injustice.” – From a 1995 speech

“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.” – Written during 27-year imprisonment

“It is in your hands, to make a better world for all who live in it.” – Nelson Mandela

2. “I have a special attachment to the people who befriended me during times of distress.” – Nelson Mandela

3. “I am not a saint, unless you think a saint is a sinner who keeps trying.” – an 81-year-old Mandela at Houston in 1999

4. “The color of my skin is beautiful, like the soil of Mother Africa.” – Nelson Mandela

 

“No one is born hating another person because of the color of his skin, or his background, or his religion. They 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.” – Long Walk to Freedom (1995)

“It never hurts to think too highly of a person; often they become ennobled and act better because of it.”

“Resentment is like drinking poison and then hoping it will kill your enemies.”

“Forgiveness liberates the soul, it removes fear. That’s why it’s such a powerful weapon.”

. “In my country we go to prison first and then become President.” – Nelson Mandela

“No one is born hating another person because of the color of his skin, or his background, or his religion.” – Nelson Mandela

“There were many dark moments when my faith in humanity was sorely tested, but I would not and could not give myself up to despair.” – Nelson Mandela

“Only free men can negotiate. Prisoners cannot enter into contracts.” – Nelson Mandela

“You will achieve more in this world through acts of mercy than you will through acts of retribution.” – Nelson Mandela

“History will judge us by the difference we make in the everyday lives of children” – Nelson Mandela, at a luncheon hosted by United Nations Secretary General Kofi Anan at the special session of the UN for Children, New York City May 9, 2002


“It is through education that the daughter of a peasant can become a doctor, that the son of a mine worker can become the head of the mine.” – Nelson Mandela

“I waited for over 70 years to cast my first vote. I chose to do it near the grave of John Dube, the first President of the ANC” – Nelson Mandela

“The children who sleep in the streets, reduced to begging to make a living, are testimony to an unfinished job.”- Nelson Mandela

“There can be no keener revelation of a society’s soul than the way in which it treats its children.” – Nelson Mandela

“We must all strive to be inspired by a deep-seated love of our country, without regard to race, color, gender or station in life.” – Nelson Mandela

“I am not a saint, unless you think a saint is a sinner who keeps trying.” – an 81-year-old Mandela at Houston in 1999

“I have a special attachment to the people who befriended me during times of distress.” – Nelson Mandela

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. – Nelson Mandela

You will achieve more in this world through acts of mercy than you will through acts of retribution.

We must use time wisely and forever realize that the time is always ripe to do right.

Courage is 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.

Lead from the back — and let others believe they are in front.

I knew as well as I knew anything that the oppressor must be liberated just as surely as the oppressed.

Our greatest fear is not that we are inadequate, but that we are powerful beyond measure.

Nelson Mandela quotes on injustice

It is in your hands, to make a better world for all who live in it.

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.

What counts in life is not the mere fact that we have lived. It is what difference we have made to the lives of others

For to be free is not merely to cast off ones’ chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others.

“Massive poverty and obscene inequality are such terrible scourges of our times — times in which the world boasts breathtaking advances in science, technology, industry, and wealth accumulation — that they have to rank alongside slavery and apartheid as social evils.”

“If calamities had the weight of physical objects we should long have been crushed down, or else, we should by now have been hunchbacked, unsteady on our feet, and with faces full of gloom and utter despair. Yet my entire body throbs with life and is full of expectations. Each day brings a fresh stock of experiences and new dreams.”

“It’s a good thing to help a friend whenever you can; but individual acts of hospitality are not the answer. Those who want to wipe out poverty from the face of the earth must use other weapons, weapons other than kindness.”

“I am convinced that floods of personal disaster can never drown a determined revolutionary nor can the cumulus of misery that accompanies tragedy suffocate him.”

“I am not less life-loving than you are. But I cannot sell my birthright, nor am I prepared to sell the birthright of the people to be free.” 19. “Since my release, I have become more convinced than ever that the real makers of history are the ordinary men and women of our country; their participation in every decision about the future is the only guarantee of true democracy and freedom.”

“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.I am fundamentally an optimist. Whether that comes from nature or nurture, I cannot say. Part of being optimistic is keeping one’s head pointed toward the sun, one’s feet moving forward. There were many dark moments when my faith in humanity was sorely tested, but I would not and could not give myself up to despair. That way lays defeat and death.”

“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 always seems impossible until it’s done.”

“As I have said, the first thing is to be honest with yourself. You can never have an impact on society if you have not changed yourself… Great peacemakers are all people of integrity, of honesty, but humility.”

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