"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.”
― Nelson Mandela, Long Walk to Freedom: Autobiography of Nelson Mandela
It was late 1990s and I participated in a quiz competition. I had answered all the questions and then came the final question.
'Name the island where Nelson Mandela was held as a prisoner.'
I didn't know the answer and thus I lost.
Reached home and read a lot about Nelson Mandela. Also learnt the name of the island. It was Robben Island.
That one question set the beginning of the impact that the legendary leader had upon me. I was enthralled by his vision, his leadership, his humility and his greatness.
Today, we lost a leader. The world lost a great soul, a human being who lived his life for others. A man who fought for everyone.
It is not just another English word for racism. It is a question. It is a practice. It was the very reason Nelson Mandela lived and will continue to live forever.
The man, in his fight against apartheid gave us many wise lessons. Lessons that are not only utmost needed by today's world but that are pretty much sufficient to run the world peacefully.
Below are my top 10 quotes from one of the greatest men in the history of the world, Mr. Nelson Mandela.
1. Nothing is impossible
It always seems impossible unless it is done.
2. Racism is not natural
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.
3. Courage is overcoming fear
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.
4. Get up every time you fall
The greatest glory in living lies not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall.
5. Speak in his language
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.
6. Be honest with yourself
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.
7. Judge a nation by how it treats its lower nationals
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.
8. Never give up
A winner is a dreamer who never gives up
9. Aim high, aim far
It is not where you start but how high you aim that matters for success.
10. I am THE DESTINY
I AM THE MASTER OF MY FATE AND THE CAPTAIN OF MY DESTINY
Great people never die. They live on. Forever.
Most of the quotes have been quoted from his autobiography 'Long Walk To Freedom'. If you wish to read the book, please buy it from the link below.