I couldn’t let this day end without saluting one of our greatest African heroes – a symbol of peace, love and forgiveness across the world.
He was the true definition of humanity at it’s best – a man willing to die for his beliefs, who sacrificed years of life fighting for justice for all. He succeeded in leading his nation through a peaceful end to apartheid – a seemingly far fetched dream at the time – and taught us all to forgive our greatest persecutors through the example in how he lived.
Below are a few of his thoughts as documented over time. Remember him fondly as you read them, and apply them to your own life as a way to honour him as we grieve his passing.
》“It always seems impossible until it’s done.”
》“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.”
》“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.”
》“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.”
》”The greatest glory in living lies not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall.”
》“If you want to make peace with your enemy, you have to work with your enemy. Then he becomes your partner.”
》“I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.”
》“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.”