Happy Birthday Nelson Mandela

I can’t believe it’s been four years since Time Magazine published Mandela at 90: His 8 Secrets of Leadership. I still have the cover hanging in my office. In honor of Nelson Mandela’s 94th birthday, I’ve gathered a few inspirational quotes from the legendary Rolihlahla. (Nelson Mandela’s real first name – it translates from Xhosa as “pulling down the branch of a tree” but really means “troublemaker.” A fact that makes me love him even more.)

Nelson Mandela Quotes

“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.”

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

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

“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.”

“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.”

“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.”

“As we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.”

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

Nelson Mandela

(I think all of these quotes are accurate, but if I’ve misquoted or misrepresented any of them, please let me know.)

About Sara Gray

Director of Communications & Marketing at the National Equity Project www.nationalequityproject.org
This entry was posted in Leadership. Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to Happy Birthday Nelson Mandela

  1. Thank you for sharing these wonderful quotes by this wonderful man. Happy birthday Madiba, hope you’ll be with us for many more years too come in good health 🙂

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