10 Important Things Nelson Mandela Has Taught US


During his long and remarkable extraordinary life, I have learnt 10 important things in life, that Nelson Mandela's humble life has taught us. When he was a young man, he was just an ordinary guy, but went on to do extraordinary things in his later life.

1. From Mandela we leanrt that "None of us are born hating another - we ARE taught to hate and if you can teach a human being to hate you CAN also teach a human being to love, to embrace and to cherish friendship".

2. Mandela famously said: "It takes courage to forgive because forgiveness is a very difficult thing". Mandela had the courage to forgive his oppressors who tormented him for such a long time, so we all should have the courage to forgive some things in life, big or small.

3. From Mandela we have a quote that speaks miles: "It always seems impossible until it's done"

4. Mandela makes a point when he says: "I have walked that long road to freedom. I have tried not to falter; I have made missteps along the way. But I have discovered the secret that after climbing a great hill, one only finds that there are many more hills to climb. I have taken a moment here to rest, to steal a view of the glorious vista that surrounds me, to look back on the distance I have come. But I can only rest for a moment, for with freedom come responsibilities, and I dare not linger, for my long walk is not ended"

5. Mandela on Mandela: "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"

6. "Courage is not the absence of fear it is inspiring others to move beyond it." This compliments what U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt told us in the 1930s: "We have nothing to Fear except Fear Itself"

7. I learnt this one, the hard way: "After climbing a great hill, one only finds that there are many more hills to climb!!!!".

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

9. Mandela shows us that we do not have to be victims of our past and so let go of bitterness. Get some closure.

10. Mandela's best quote: "Appearances matter and remember to smile". I now know why despite suffering so much, Mandela manges to give a warm smile for the camera, where ever he went around the world. Keep the bitterness at bay and just hope for AND work towards doing something GOOD for you and others.

Most quotes taken from Long Walk To Freedom: The Autobiography of Nelson Mandela by Nelson Mandela, published 12 Oct 1995, which I re-read from page one, after learning of his death.

Finally.........At his 1964 Rivonia treason trial, Nelson Mandela chose to make a speech rather than testify. These are the his famous exact closing words: "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 needs be, it is an ideal for which I am prepared to die."

A powerful statement, but he did live to see his ideal come true in his lifetime, wow...what a guy!!. Thank you Mandela for teaching us about the most cherished things in life. Rest in Peace.

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Copyright © 2013 Godfrey Oswald