Nelson Mandela Quotes


Below are a number of Nelson Mandela quotes that have been attributed to him, dating from his treason trial, to his term in office as the President of South Africa.

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


" 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 isn't a single article I wear that I have bought - people just generously give me clothes. "
1994, after seven months as President


" 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 cannot conceive of Israel withdrawing if Arab states do not recognize Israel, within secure borders. "


" 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. "


" I dream of an Africa which is in peace with itself. "


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


" It always seems impossible until its done. "


" I make my own bed every day. I don't allow the ladies who look after me to do it. I can cook a decent meal ... I can polish a floor. "


" Money won't create success, the freedom to make it will. "


" Discipline is the most powerful weapon to get liberation. "


" On numerous occassions it has been proven in history that people can enjoy the vote even if they have no education. "


" When my sentence has been completed I will still be moved, as men are always moved, by their consciences; I will still be moved by my dislike of the race discrimination against my people when I come out from serving my sentence, to take up again, as best as I can, the struggle for the removal of those injustices until they are finally abolished once and for all. "


" During my lifetime I have dedicated myself to this struggle of the African people, I have fought against white domination, and I have fought against black domination. 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 it needs be it is an ideal for which I am prepared to die. "


" It always seems impossible until it's done. "


" I am not a saint, unless you think of a saint as a sinner who keeps on trying. "


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


" The greatest glory in living lies not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall. "


" Lead from the front — but don t leave your base behind. "


" Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. 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. 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. "


" Struggle without discipline can lead to anarchy. "


" Never and never again shall it be that this beautiful land wiil again experience the oppression of one by another and suffer the indignity of being the skunk of the world. "


" I dream of an Africa which is in peace with itself. "


" Our whole nation stood behind a sport which was once a symbol of apartheid. "


" A critical, independent and investigative press is the lifeblood of any democracy. "


" 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. "


" Quitting is leading too. "


" I had no epiphany, no singular revelation, no moment of truth, but a steady accumulation of a thousand slights, a thousand indignities and a thousand unremembered moments produced in me an anger, a rebelliousness, a desire to fight the system that imprisoned my people. There was no particular day on which I said, Henceforth I will devote myself to the liberation of my people; instead, I simply found myself doing so, and could not do otherwise. "


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


" 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. "


" Do not judge me by my successes, judge me by how many times I fell down and got back up again. "


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


" The exaltation of the President, and denigration of other ANC leaders, constitutes praise which I do not accept. "


" At the end of my reign I'll be eighty-one. I don't think it's wise that a robust country like South Africa should be led by a septuagenerian. "
Spoken in 1996 when there were rumours about his health. A septuagenerian when he made the comment, he would, of course, be an octogenerian by the end of his term in office.


" There can be no keener revelation of a society's soul than the way it treats its children. "
Taken from his summary of the first year of the Nelson Mandela Children's Fund 1996


" I would just like a simple stone on which is written 'Mandela'. "
On his death, from an interview published in the USA, 1997


" Majority rule is not intended to suppress the views, the hopes, the aspirations of the minority. "


















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