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The Wisdom of Mandela

The world said good-bye this week to an amazing man. Nelson Mandela’s memorial was more a celebration of a life supremely lived than a period of mourning. His life was a remarkable journey.

People all over the world have been reflecting on the impact, the legacy, and the wisdom he left us.

We thought it would be fitting to share some of his most famous quotes.

“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.”  –1994, from his autobiography, “Long Walk to Freedom”

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

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

“I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but he triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.”

“I am fundamentally an optimist…Part of being optimistic is keeping one’s head pointed toward the sun, one’s feet moving forward.”

“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.” —Long Walk to Freedom: The Autobiography of Nelson Mandela

“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.” —From a letter to Winnie Mandela 1975

“If you want to make peace with your enemy, you have to work with your enemy. Then he becomes your partner.”

“Man’s goodness is a flame that can be hidden but never extinguished”

“It is now in the hands of your generations to help rid the world of such suffering.” 90th Birthday Gathering June 25, 2008

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

“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.”

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

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

“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.”


We’ve created a free videocard with one of Nelson Mandela’s famous quotes that you can share with others for FREE. Find it here »

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One comment

  1. Thank-you for the quotes, they’re very inspirational.

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