10 Of Nelson Mandela’s Most Inspirational Quotes

Above: Former South African President Nelson Mandela waves as he arrives in central London, England. August 28, 2007
Above: Former South African President Nelson Mandela waves as he arrives in central London, England. August 28, 2007

The former President of South Africa and human rights activist may have passed away at the age of 95, but the work he did to rid the world of racism, apartheid, and inequality will affect the lives of hundreds of generations to come. One of his biggest strengths was his ability to inspire people with words.

In honour of Nelson Mandela, here are 10 of his most inspirational quotes.

“If I had my time over I would do the same again, so would any man who dares call himself a man.” (After being sentenced to five years hard labor, November 1962)

 “I came to accept that I have no right whatsoever to judge others in terms of my own customs.” (From his unpublished autobiographical manuscript, 1975)

 “When a man has done what he considers to be his duty to his people and his country, he can rest in peace.”  (Interview for Mandela, 1994)

“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.” (From Long Walk to Freedom, 1995)

“It is never my custom to use words lightly. If twenty-seven years in prison have done anything to us, it was to use the silence of solitude to make us understand how precious words are and how real speech is in its impact on the way people live and die.”  (South Africa, July 14, 2000)

“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.”

“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.” (From A Long Walk to Freedom, 1994)

“Everyone can rise above their circumstances and achieve success if they are dedicated to and passionate about what they do.”

“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.”

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

Courtney Hardwick

Courtney Hardwick

Courtney Hardwick is a freelance writer based in Toronto. Her work has appeared on AmongMen.com, 29secrets.com, therichest.com, and ELLECanada.com.  When she isn’t writing about relationships, and the best TV shows and books you should really already know about, she is working on her novel. She hopes to have it published by 2025. You can follow her on Twitter @Courtooo.

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