Nelson Mandela was the first Black president of South Africa, elected after his long stay in prison for his anti-apartheid work. He was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1993. Here are some of the most inspiring quotes formulated by this visionary which continue to inspire the citizens of the world to envision a better, braver future.

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

Nelson Mandela rightly stated this quote in South Africa on July 16, 2003. Yes, education is the key to eliminate most of the world’s problems. Education can shape societies; education enables to consider different perspectives and bolster one’s own ideas. Education helps one fight poverty. Education gives you the courage to fight injustice. Education is indeed the most powerful tool one 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 the fear.”

This phrase from Nelson Mandela means that true courage is understanding that there is real risk present, cause of fear. The person of courage then acts in spite of their fear. To quote General Patton – “Courage is fear holding on just one minute longer.” To have no fear at all moves a person into the foolhardy category.

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

This quote is from the 2001 speech delivered by Nelson Mandela, who has certainly earned the right to speck about perseverance and hard work. The seemingly impossible is something you can accomplish.

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

From speech Mandela gave when he launched the Children’s Fund in South Africa in May 1995.

“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.”

This quote from Nelson Mandela given us the lesson that to live with freedom doesn’t mean to make someone else your slave, but to respect them and grant them similar freedom as well. These words of wisdom are also inscribed outside the Apartheid Museum.

“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.”

This Nelson Mandela quote is from the 90th birthday of Walter Sisulu, a fellow anti-Apartheid activist.

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

This quote elaborates Mandela’s views on how we carry resentment at extreme risk to ourselves. As these emotions may not change the thinking of others but influence our own worldview.

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

The inspirational message one can derive from this Nelson Mandela quote is – To lead is to understand the critical role overcoming obstacles play in sustained success.

“I like friends who have independent minds because they tend to make you see problems from all angles.”

Having friends and close ones prescribing to similar thought patterns and belief systems is not good for the development of an individual. By having a variety of ideas, beliefs, ideals, logic, and priorities in friends, can help an individual to develop sophisticated set of ideas and solutions to complex multi-faceted problems of the world.

“It is not diversity which divides us; it is not our ethnicity, or religion or culture that divides us. Since we have achieved our freedom, there can be only one division amongst us: between those who cherish democracy and those who do not.”

This was said by Nelson Mandela is from 16 April, 1999, upon receiving the freedom of the City of Durban, South Africa.

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