July 18th is the birthdate of Nelson Mandela, anti-apartheid activist, Nobel Prize winner, and former President of South Africa. Mandela spoke throughout his life about addressing the world’s social injustices. He called for peace. He called for education. He called for kindness towards others.
In his honor, July 18th is now known as Nelson Mandela International Day. It was inspired by his call for all of us to do our part to change the world for the better. As he said, we all have the ability to lead others forward simply by standing behind them.
One blog post can hardly to justice to the life and legacy of Nelson Mandela. His impact can be felt daily, from small villages in South Africa to here in our own homes. His famous words have become life lessons that many of us try ourselves and impose on our own children. While our impact may never be as profound, they can be felt nonetheless.
Here are 15 of my favorite Nelson Mandela quotes to live by:
“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.”
“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.”
[Tweet “We must use time wisely and forever realize that the time is always ripe to do right.”]
“Our single most important challenge is therefore to help establish a social order in which the freedom of the individual will truly mean the freedom of the individual.”
“I like friends who have independent minds because they tend to make you see problems from all angles.”
“Everyone can rise above their circumstances and achieve success if they are dedicated to and passionate about what they do.”
[Tweet “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.”]
“Do not judge me by my successes, judge me by how many times I fell down and got back up again.”
“A good head and good heart are always a formidable combination. But when you add to that a literate tongue or pen, then you have something very special.”
[Tweet “Resentment is like drinking poison and then hoping it will kill your enemies.”]
“As we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.”
“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.”
So take a moment today to do something in the name of peace and kindness towards others. Do something that teaches, that lifts, or that inspires. Then think about how to make every day Mandela Day.
For more information, go to: http://www.mandeladay.com/. You can also follow along on Twitter via #mandeladay and #timetoserve.