FAMOUS QUOTE OF NELSON MANDELA<

 

 

Discover the most famous quotes and proverbs of Nelson MANDELA, hero of the anti-apartheid struggle and South Africa’s 1st black president.


Nelson MANDELA  LittleBigDolls Nelson MANDELA


 

 

I have learned that courage is not the absence of fear, but the ability to overcome it.

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I never lose. Either I win or I learn

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It is difficult to explain to someone with narrow ideas that being educated does not only mean being able to read and write and have a degree, but that an illiterate person can be a much more educated voter than someone with degrees.

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To be free is not only to get rid of your chains; it is to live in a way that respects and strengthens the freedom of others.

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Education is the most powerful weapon that can be used to change the world.

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It still seems impossible, until we do.

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The greatest glory is not to never fall, but to rise again with each fall.

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In the night that surrounds me,
In the darkness that surrounds me,
I praise the gods who give me a soul
Both noble and proud.

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Prisoner of my situation,
I don't want to rebel.
Murdered by tribulations,
I'm standing, although I'm hurt.

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In this place of shame and tears,
I only see horror and shadows.
The years look bleak,
But I will not know fear.

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No matter how narrow the path is,
Although I am accused and blamed;
I am the master of my destiny,
I am the captain of my soul.

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It is by returning to a place where nothing has changed that we best realize how much we have changed.

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A man who deprives another man of his freedom is a prisoner of hatred, prejudice and narrow-mindedness.

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I have always known that in the depths of man's heart lay mercy and generosity. No one is born hating another person because of the color of their skin, or their past, or their religion.
People must learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can also be taught to love, because love is born more naturally in the heart of man than its opposite.
Even in the worst moments of the prison, when my comrades and I were at the end of our time, I always saw a glimmer of humanity in one of the guards, perhaps for a second, but that was enough to reassure me and allow me to continue. Man's goodness is a flame that can be hidden, but can never be extinguished. A man who deprives
another man of his freedom is a prisoner of hatred, he is locked behind bars of prejudice and
narrow-mindedness. I am not really free if I deprive someone else of their freedom, just as I am not free if I am deprived of my freedom. Both the oppressed and the oppressor are dispossessed of their humanity. When I walked through the prison doors,
that was my mission: to free both the oppressed and the oppressor. Some say that this goal has been achieved. But I know that's not the case. The truth is that we are not yet free; we have only reached the
freedom to be free, the right not to be oppressed.
We have not yet taken the last step of our journey, we have only taken the first step on a longer and more difficult road. For to be free is not only to get rid of your chains; it is to live in a way that
respects and reinforces the freedom of others. The real test for our commitment to freedom has just begun.

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The best weapon is to sit and talk;

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In my lifetime, I have devoted myself entirely to the struggle of the African people. I fought against white domination and I fought against black domination. My most cherished ideal was that of a free and democratic society in which everyone would live in harmony and with equal opportunities. I hope to live long enough to reach it. But if necessary, it is an ideal for which I am ready to die (Mandela's statement at the Rivonia trial in 1964)

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By making our light shine, we offer others the opportunity to do the same.

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None of us, acting alone, can achieve success.

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I LEARNED THAT COURAGE IS NOT THE ABSENCE OF FEAR, BUT THE ABILITY TO OVERCOME IT.

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I NEVER LOSE. EITHER I WIN OR I LEARN.

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IT STILL SEEMS IMPOSSIBLE, UNTIL WE DO.

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To make peace with an enemy, you must work with that enemy, and that enemy becomes your partner.

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Politics can be strengthened by music, but music has a power that defies politics.

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I'm not really free if I deprive someone else of their freedom. Both the oppressed and the oppressor are dispossessed of their humanity.

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When a problem has a solution it is not necessary to worry even when a problem has no solution to worry about...

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It was from these comrades that I learned, in the struggle, the meaning of courage. I have always seen men and women risk and give their lives for an idea. I have seen men who have endured brutality and torture without cracking, showing a strength and resistance that defies the imagination. I have learned that courage is not the absence of fear, but the ability to overcome it.

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I have learned that courage is not the absence of fear, but the ability to overcome it.

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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.

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No one was born with hatred for the other because of the colour of their skin, or their origin, or their religion. People must have learned to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can learn to love because love flows more naturally from the human heart than its opposite.

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"I have learned that courage is not the absence of fear, but the ability to overcome it."

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Politics can be strengthened by music, but music has a power that defies politics.

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You will get more in this world with forgiveness than with acts of retaliation.

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The goodness of man is a flame that can be hidden but can never be extinguished.

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A winner is just a dreamer who has never given in.

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I'm not really free if I deprive someone else of their freedom. Both the oppressed and the oppressor are dispossessed of their humanity.

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I am fundamentally optimistic. Whether it's innate or not, I can't say. One way to be optimistic is to keep your head pointing towards the sun and your feet moving. There were many dark moments when my faith in humanity was put to the test, but I did not want and could not give myself up to despair. This is how defeat and death are rejected.

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A nation should not be judged on how it treats its richest citizens but on its attitude towards its poorest citizens - and South Africa treated its imprisoned African citizens like animals.

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We must use time wisely and realize that there is always time to do good

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After climbing a high hill, you only realize that there are still many hills to climb.

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I HAVE ALWAYS BELIEVED THAT PHYSICAL EXERCISE IS THE KEY NOT ONLY TO A HEALTHY BODY BUT ALSO TO PEACE OF MIND.

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BY MAKING OUR LIGHT SHINE, WE OFFER OTHERS THE OPPORTUNITY TO DO THE SAME.

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EDUCATION IS THE MOST POWERFUL WEAPON TO CHANGE THE WORLD.

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The new world will not be built by those who stand aside with their arms crossed, but by those who are in the arena, their clothes reduced to rags by the storm and their bodies mutilated by events. Honour belongs to those who never deviate from the truth, even in darkness and difficulty, those who always try and who do not let themselves be discouraged by insults, humiliation or even defeat.

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A long road to Nelson Mandela's freedom
I discovered that you can tolerate the unbearable if you keep your spirits up even when your body is suffering.
Strong convictions are the secret of survival; one can have a full mind, even if one's stomach is empty.

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It is always the oppressor, not the oppressed, who determines the form of struggle. If the oppressor uses violence, the oppressed will have no choice but to respond with violence. In our case, it was only a form of self-defense

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life itself is an eternal restart....Dalai lama

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A winner is a dreamer who never gives up.

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men who take great risks must expect to often bear the heavy consequences.

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My dearest ideal has been a free and democratic society in which everyone lives in harmony and with equal opportunities, and I hope to live long enough to achieve it, but if necessary, it is an ideal for which I am willing to die.[A long road to freedom]

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It is very easy to break and destroy. Heroes are those who make peace and build.

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IT IS WISE TO PERSUADE PEOPLE TO DO THINGS AND MAKE THEM THINK THAT THE IDEA CAME FROM THEM.

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DON'T JUDGE ME BY MY SUCCESSES, JUDGE ME BY HOW MANY TIMES I FELL AND GOT UP AGAIN.

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EVEN AS A CHILD, I LEARNED TO DEFEAT MY OPPONENTS WITHOUT HUMILIATING THEM.

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The images of South Africans going to polling stations have remained etched in my memory. Long lines of patient people; old women who had waited half a century to be able to vote, saying that, for the first time in their lives, they felt like human beings; whites, men and women, affirming their pride in finally living in a free country.

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I had learned that character is measured in difficult situations and that a hero does not fold, even in the most difficult circumstances.

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TO BE FREE IS NOT ONLY TO GET RID OF YOUR CHAINS; IT IS TO LIVE IN A WAY THAT RESPECTS AND STRENGTHENS THE FREEDOM OF OTHERS.

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THE GREATEST GLORY IS NOT TO NEVER FALL, BUT TO RISE AGAIN WITH EACH FALL.

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NONE OF US, ACTING ALONE, CAN ACHIEVE SUCCESS.

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Often, the revolutionaries of the past have succumbed to the lure of profit, and have fallen prey to the temptation to confiscate public resources for their personal enrichment.

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The goodness of man is a flame that can be hidden but can never be extinguished.

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(...) the struggle for freedom was not only about making speeches, holding meetings, passing resolutions and sending delegations: it also required meticulous organization, mass militant actions, and above all, the will to suffer and sacrifice.

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I'm not really free if I deprive someone else of their freedom. Both the oppressed and the oppressor are dispossessed of their humanity.

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May freedom reign. For never has the sun set on a more glorious human achievement.

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I have learned that courage is not the absence of fear, but the ability to overcome it. I too felt the fear more than I can remember, but I hid it behind the mask of boldness.

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To be free is not only to get rid of your chains; it is to live in a way that respects and strengthens the freedom of others.

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"All parts of the nation are working to build our country and make it a miracle. That's what makes me hope when I go to bed. I have no doubt that when I enter eternity, I will smile."

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There is not much positive to say about poverty, but it often gave rise to friendship, many people hurry around you when you are rich, but only a few people, rare and precious, do so when you are poor, if wealth is a magnet, poverty is a kind of repulsion, yet when you are poor, others often show you true generosity.

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Any man or institution that tries to steal my dignity will lose.

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Only politicians who keep their arms crossed are safe from mistakes. Mistakes are inherent in political action. The one who is at the centre of a political struggle, who must respond to pressing practical problems without having time for reflection and while no precedent can guide him, he is led to make many mistakes. But over time, if he is willing to examine his work with a critical eye, he ends up acquiring the necessary experience, becoming far-sighted enough to avoid ordinary pitfalls and stay on course in the turmoil of events.

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The struggle is my life. I will continue to fight for freedom until the end of my life.

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You can't deflect an attack from a wild beast with your bare hands.

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A rainbow nation, at peace with itself and the world.

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A nation should not be judged on how it treats its richest citizens but on its attitude towards its poorest citizens.

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A well-made head and a good heart are always a great combination.

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Take it upon yourself, wherever you live, to give joy and hope to those around you.

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"I was not born with a hunger for freedom. I was born free - free in every way I could know. Free to run in the fields near my mother's hut, free to swim in the clear stream that crossed my village, free to grill corn under the stars and climb on the wide back of slow-moving oxen (...) It was only when I learned that the freedom of my childhood was only an illusion, that my freedom had already been taken away from me, that I began to hunger for it."

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If, in the past, I had considered the law idealistically as the sword of justice, today I saw it as a tool used by the ruling class to shape society in a way that was favourable to it. I never expected justice in a courtroom even if I fought for it and sometimes I met it.

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If anyone thinks I'm a pacifist, come and get my chickens, and they'll see that they're wrong!

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"We must remember that our first task is to eradicate poverty and ensure a better life for all."

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(2009, video message broadcast at an ANC election rally, his last political intervention)

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One day, near the office, I saw an old white woman whose parked car was stuck between two others. I immediately pushed his car to get it out of the way. The old lady, who spoke English, turned to me and said: Thank you, John, John, John being the name that whites gave to blacks they didn't know. Then she handed me a six-pence coin that I politely refused. But she insisted and I said no again. Then she cried out: "You refuse a six-pence coin. You probably want a shilling, but you won't get it! Then she threw the coin at me and started.

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Honesty, sincerity, simplicity, humility, generosity, lack of vanity, ability to serve others - qualities within the reach of all souls are the true foundations of our spiritual life

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It was not their goals that made them criminal, Hanson said, it was only the means they used.

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For the first time I saw that it was unwise to go against the advice of a large number of people. There is no point in deciding on an action to which the masses are opposed because it will be impossible to implement it.

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What matters is not the individuals but the collective.

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Education is the great engine of personal development.......... It is what we do with what we have and not what we are given that makes the difference between people.

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Then Maqhavi began to recite his famous poem in which he attributed the stars of the sky to the different nations of the earth. I've never heard it before. Walking up and down the stage and raising his saga to the sky, he addressed the peoples of Europe - the French, the Germans, the English -: I give you the Milky Way, the greatest constellation, because you are strange, greedy and envious people, who quarrel in abundance...


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By making our light shine, we offer others the opportunity to do the same.

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The white man had broken the abantu, the community, of the different tribes. The white man was hungry for the earth and the black man had shared the earth with him as he shared air and water; the earth was not made for man to possess. But the white man took the earth as we would take another man's horse

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The chains of the body are often the wings of the mind.

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[...] virtue and generosity will be rewarded in ways that one cannot know.

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Most accomplished men are subject to some form of vanity. During their lives, there comes a time when they indulge in egotism and publicly brag about their exceptional success. There is a gentle euphemism for self-satisfaction: it is called an autobiography, and the author often emphasizes the shortcomings of others to emphasize how commendable his own achievements are.

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A freedom fighter learns brutally that it is the oppressor who defines the nature of the struggle, and the oppressed often have no other recourse than to use methods that reflect those of the oppressor. (p. 203)

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Men who take great risks must expect to often bear the heavy consequences.

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There's nothing you can do against a man's will

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If you speak to a man in a language he understands, it goes into his head. If you speak to him in his language, it goes into his heart.

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I am fundamentally optimistic. I can't say if it's in my nature or if I've cultivated it. Part of what makes an optimist is to keep your head facing the sun by putting one foot in front of the other.

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The law has made me a criminal not because of what I did but because of what I was defending, what I thought, because of my conscience.

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Remember that a saint is a fisherman who seeks to improve himself.

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Our children are the stone on which our future will be built. They are our greatest asset as a nation. They will be the leaders of our country, the creators of our national wealth, they will take care of our people, protect them.

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TO MAKE PEACE WITH AN ENEMY, YOU HAVE TO WORK WITH THAT ENEMY, AND THAT ENEMY BECOMES YOUR PARTNER.

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A WINNER IS JUST A DREAMER WHO HAS NEVER GIVEN IN.

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WHAT MATTERS IS NOT THE INDIVIDUALS BUT THE COLLECTIVE.

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They say you never know a country until you go to its prisons. A nation should not be judged on how it treats its richest citizens but on its attitude towards its poorest citizens - and South Africa treated its imprisoned African citizens like animals.

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In my current situation, thinking about the past is far more challenging than contemplating the present or predicting the future course of events. Until I went to prison, I never fully appreciated the capacity of memory, the incessant stream of information that the mind carries within it.

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I have not known an exceptional moment, no revelation, no moment of truth, but the regular accumulation of thousands of affronts, thousands of humiliations, thousands of forgotten moments, has created in me an anger, a spirit of revolt, the desire to fight the system that imprisoned my people.

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Thus disappeared an enlightened and tolerant man who had achieved the objective that marks the reign of all great leaders: he had preserved the unity of his people.

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In love, unlike politics, prudence is not a virtue in general.

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I have never forgotten the regent's axiom: a chief said he is like a shepherd, he stays behind his flock, he lets the most alert go first, and the others follow without realizing that they have been led from behind all the time.

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Democracy meant that we had to listen to all men, and that we had to make a decision together as a people. The majority rule was a foreign concept. A minority should not be overwhelmed by a majority.

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Children are often the least sentimental of all beings, especially if they are absorbed by some new pleasure.

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As I got on the plane, I saw that the pilot was black. I had never seen a black pilot before and, at the time, I had to suppress my panic. How could a black man fly a plane? But I recovered: I had fallen into the spirit of apartheid, imagining the inferior Africans and piloting a job reserved for whites.

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But the human body has an extraordinary ability to adapt. I discovered that you can tolerate the unbearable if you keep your spirits up, even when your body is in pain. Strong convictions are the secret of survival; one can have a full mind even if one's stomach is empty.

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a human being is a being of free light, who becomes ember when he falls, who becomes fire when he gets up. Pierrot, fair poet from Quebec

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Non-violent passive resistance is effective as long as your opponent adheres to the same rules as you. But if the peaceful demonstration encounters only violence, its effectiveness ends. For me, non-violence was not a moral principle but a strategy. There is no moral goodness in using an ineffective weapon. But on this subject, my reflection had not yet been completed, and I had spoken too quickly. (p. 193)

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TAKE IT UPON YOURSELF, WHEREVER YOU LIVE, TO GIVE JOY AND HOPE TO THOSE AROUND YOU.

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A WELL-MADE HEAD AND A GOOD HEART ALWAYS FORM A GREAT COMBINATION.

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IN LOVE, UNLIKE POLITICS, CAUTION IS GENERALLY NOT A VIRTUE.

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Spiritual weapons can be effective, their impact is often difficult to assess, except in the light of experience. In a sense, they transform the prisoner into a free man, the commoner into a monarch, the mud into gold. To put it bluntly, it is only my flesh and bones that are stuck behind these thick walls.
Otherwise I keep my cosmopolitan opinions; my thoughts are as free as the flight of the falcon.
What fuels my dreams is the collective wisdom of humanity. I am more convinced than ever that social equity is the only way to human happiness...

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I had lost face in front of my friends. It was only a donkey that knocked me down, but I learned that humiliating someone is making them suffer unnecessarily. Even as a child, I learned to defeat my opponents without dishonouring them.

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I had certainly left prison, but I was not yet free.
I was also asked about white people's fears. I knew people expected me to be angry with them, but I had none. In prison, my anger towards the Whites had subsided but my hatred towards the system had increased. I wanted South Africa to see that I loved my enemies while hating the system that had created our confrontation.
I wanted journalists to understand the essential role of whites in any new system.
I had always tried not to lose sight of that. We did not want to destroy the country before we liberated it, and driving the whites out would have ruined the nation. I said that there was a balance between the fears of whites and the hopes of blacks, and we at the ANC were looking for it.

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I never lose. Either I win or I learn.

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A man on the way to a goal that fascinates him and that he knows is insensitive to fatigue and invulnerable to failure.

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The campaign to improve prison conditions was part of the struggle against apartheid. In this sense, it was the same thing; we fought injustice where we encountered it, and no matter how great or limited, and we fought it to preserve our humanity.

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I spent my first morning at the museum looking at the works of art, taking notes on the men who founded the ancient civilization of the Nile Valley. This was not an amateur archaeologist's interest; it is important for African nationalists to be armed with evidence to contradict the fictitious claims of whites that Africans do not have a civilized past comparable to that of the West. In one morning alone, I discovered that the Egyptians had created great works of art and architecture at a time when whites were still living in caves.

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The strange and beautiful thing about African music is that it gives you courage even if it tells a sad story.... Politics can be strengthened by music, but music has a power that defies politics.

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During the years I lived there, the people of Alexandra ignored tribal and ethnic differences. We were only Xhosa, Sotho, Zulu or Shangan, we were Alexandra's. We were a people and we ignored the differences that the apartheid government was trying to impose on any force. It saddens me and makes me angry to see the hatred of foreigners grow. P.485

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It will be important in South Africa, as in Germany after the Second World War, that democratic institutions are put in place to prevent racial tyranny from returning in force.

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

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Whatever the verdict, the Court can be assured that after serving my sentence I will continue to listen to the way of my conscience. I will always be overwhelmed by racial hatred and will continue to fight against injustices until they are definitively abolished

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The country's main event in 1958 was the general elections - general only because three million whites could participate but none of the thirteen million Africans. We were debating whether to organize a response. We were diverted to answer the central question: did elections in which only whites could participate change anything for Africans? As far as the ANC was concerned, we could not remain indifferent even if we were not part of the system. We were excluded but not insensitive: the defeat of the National Party would be in our interest and that of all Africans.

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Prison and the authorities conspire to deprive everyone of their dignity. This in itself has allowed me to survive.......I am fundamentally optimistic......letting despair lead to defeat and death.

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Thoughts for Myself - Nelson Mandela's Authorized Quotation Book
In prison, I did not only consider myself the leader of the ANC, I was also a defender of unity, a mediator.

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Because to be free, it is not enough to free oneself from one's chains, one must live by respecting and increasing the freedom of others.

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Without a common language, we cannot speak to or understand a people; we cannot share their hopes and aspirations, grasp their history, appreciate their poetry and songs.

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It is difficult to explain to someone with narrow ideas that being educated does not only mean being able to read and write and have a degree, but that an illiterate person can be a much more educated voter than someone with degrees.

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"If I hadn't been locked in prison for twenty-seven years, I don't know if I would have been so good with children. But twenty-seven years without seeing children is a terrible experience."

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"Being in love is an experience that every man should know. For me, it is an extraordinary experience. We should be grateful for such an experience."

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To be free is not only to get rid of your chains; it is to live in a way that respects and strengthens the freedom of others.

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My ideal is a democratic and free society where everyone lives together in peace and with equal opportunities. I hope to live to conquer it, but it is also an ideal for which I am ready, if necessary to die

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Freedom without civility, freedom without the ability to live in peace, is absolutely not true freedom !

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Perhaps we, who have experienced the worst example of racism in our country since the defeat of Nazism, will make our contribution to civilization by solving our problems in such a way that we will put a definitive end to racism throughout the world.

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Even as a child I learned to defeat my opponents without humiliating them

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(...) the only thing my father bestowed upon me at birth was a name, Rolihlahla. In Xhosa, Rolihlahla literally means "pulling the branch of a tree", but its colloquial meaning more accurately would be "troublemaker". I do not believe that names are destiny or that my father somehow divined my future, but in later years, friends and relatives would ascribe to my birth name the many storms I have both caused and weathered.

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(...) the National Party violently opposed any form of integration. Only a white electorate that had been indoctrinated with the black peril and ignored African ideas and politics could support the monstrous racist philosophy of the National Party. In this case, familiarity did not generate contempt but understanding and even ultimately harmony.

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Just as the liberation of South Africa was an achievement for all of Africa, the reconstruction and development of our country is part of the continent's renaissance.

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The spirit of ubuntu - that very African idea that we are human only because of the humanity of others - has contributed strongly to our universal desire for a better world. It is not I alone who can discover myself, but it is we together who can learn to know and appreciate others and ourselves respectfully.

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As a leader, one must sometimes take actions that are unpopular, or whose results will not be known for years to come. There are victories whose glory lies only in the fact that they are known to those who win them. This is particularly true of prison, where you must find consolation in being true to your ideals, even if no one else knows of it.

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It was the first and most successful hunger strike on the island. As a form of protest, this kind of strike did not often succeed and what animated them seemed a little Donquichottesque to me (...). For me, this kind of demonstration was far too passive. We who were already suffering were putting our health at risk and even risking our lives. I have always preferred a much more active mode of protest, such as work stoppages, slow strikes, or refusal to clean up; actions that penalized the authorities and not ourselves. They wanted gravel, we didn't produce it. They wanted the prison yard to be clean, it was dirty. This kind of behaviour saddened and exasperated them, but I thought they were not unhappy to see us starving.

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Many of the magnificent protected African sites originate from the colonial past, where they were marked as reserves. This alienated local populations, who viewed them as useless, even ruinous places.

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The moral decay of some communities around the world is revealed by the use of God's name to justify actions condemned by the whole world as crimes against humanity.

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I was honest and explained why I thought we had no choice but to turn to violence. I used an old African expression: Sebatana ha se bokwe ka diatla (You can't turn away the attack of a wild beast with your bare hands).

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I have always believed that physical exercise is the key not only to a healthy body but also to peace of mind.

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"I knew perfectly well that the oppressor must be released as well as the oppressed. A man who deprives another man of his freedom is a prisoner of his hatred, he is locked up behind bars of his prejudices and narrow-mindedness. (...) When I walked through the prison doors, it was my mission to free both the oppressed and the oppressor."

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I have cherished the ideal of a democratic and free society in which all persons live together in harmony and with equal opportunities.

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During the years I lived there, the people of Alexandra ignored tribal and ethnic differences. We were not Xhosa, Sotho, Zulu or Shangan, we were Alexandra. We were a people and we ignored the differences that the apartheid government was trying to impose on any force. It saddens me and makes me angry to see the hatred of strangers grow.

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Our deepest fear is not that we are not up to the task. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond all limits.
It is our own light and not our darkness that frightens us the most.

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By making our light shine, we offer others the opportunity to do the same.

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In the life of any nation, there comes a time when there are only two choices left: to submit or to fight; this time has come to South Africa; we will not submit and we have no choice but to respond with all the means in our power to defend our people, our future and our freedom....

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Our collective cell became a kind of freedom fighters' congress, because many of us lived under severe restrictions and meeting others was illegal for them, and now our common enemy had brought us together under the same roof for what had become the largest and longest not prohibited meeting of the Congress Alliance for years.

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I only acted as an intermediary in prison; once outside, the task of conducting negotiations is the responsibility of the National Executive Council, which is located in Lusaka.

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Man's goodness is a flame that can be hidden, but can never be extinguished