Nelson Mandela Quotes

Nelson Mandela (18 July 1918 – 5 December 2013) received 250 awards, including the 1995 Nobel Peace Prize:

1. “Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented and fabulous? 


Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small doesn’t serve the world.

There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It is not just in some of us: it’s in everyone. 

And when we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.” 



2. “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.” 
3. “It always seems impossible until it’s done.” 
4. “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.” 
5. “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.” 


6. “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. “Does anybody really think that they didn’t get what they had because they didn’t have the talent or the strength or the endurance or the commitment?”
8. “I detest racialism, because I regard it as a barbaric thing, whether it comes from a black man or a white man.”
9. “If there are dreams about a beautiful South Africa, there are also roads that lead to their goal. Two of these roads could be named Goodness and Forgiveness.”
10. “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.”
11. “Never, never and never again shall it be that this beautiful land will again experience the oppression of one by another.”
12. “Only free men can negotiate; prisoners cannot enter into contracts. Your freedom and mine cannot be separated.”


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

14. “There is no such thing as part freedom.”
15. “There is nothing like returning to a place that remains unchanged to find the ways in which you yourself have altered.”
16. “We must use time wisely and forever realize that the time is always ripe to do right.”
17. “And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same”
18. “As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”
19. “We need to exert ourselves that much more, and break out of the vicious cycle of dependence imposed on us by the financially powerful: those in command of immense market power and those who dare to fashion the world in their own image.”
20. “Man’s goodness is a flame that can be hidden but never extinguished.”
21. “Each of you must know that the body, the mind and the soul have been freed to fulfil themselves.”
22. “No one is born hating another person because of the colour of his skin, or his background, or his religion. People are taught hate, and if they are able to learn hate, then they can also be taught love, for love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite.”

By Alexander Light, HumansAreFree.com;

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