One of the world’s most beloved pacifists, Nelson Mandela will remain a figure of love, strength, discipline and courage always in our hearts.
1. He was a man of humor, honesty and humility.
2. He and Oliver Tambo opened the first black legal firm in South Africa where he provided free or cheap legal aid to blacks.
3. He spent 27 years in prison determined to remain in control of his spirit and destiny.
4. He was politically astute.
5. He was an incredibly motivating speaker.
It always seems impossible until it’s done.
6. He fought for a free society in South Africa, an ideal for which he was willing to give his life.
7. He paid tribute to Gandhi with these words: “He dared to exhort nonviolence in a time when the violence of Hiroshima and Nagasaki had exploded on us; he exhorted morality when science, technology and the capitalist order had made it redundant; he replaced self-interest with group interest without minimizing the importance of self. India is Gandhi’s country of birth; South Africa his country of adoption.”
8. He won the Nobel Peace Prize.
9. He fought tirelessly against racism.
10. He wasn’t afraid to peacefully fight for his beliefs publicly.
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.
11. He was an effective president, even at 75-years-old.
12. He endured unimaginable loss, yet remained focused and optimistic.
13. He could light up a room with his smile.
14. He became the symbol for apartheid resistance.
15. He was one of the most significant leaders in history.
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.
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