Today is Nelson Mandela’s birthday, he turns 96. I’m sure some of you are wondering why I am using the present tense. It’s because to me Nelson Mandela has never died.
Actually, I remember that after I learned about his passing few months ago, tears came into my eyes but at the same time something was making me smile. I thought that a simple post wouldn’t be enough to express all my feelings towards this great man whose life and actions have always inspired me. So, I would like to share this with you.
The life of Nelson Mandela is indeed one of the most beautiful stories I’ve read in my entire life.
His mind, his soul, the love and the passion he put in every single action he did, make me think of him more as some kind of God sent on earth rather than a simple man. But the truth is actually the opposite… Madiba was a simple man, with simple but powerful principles, with integrity, with faith, with a huge heart.
He has faced the biggest struggles in his life and overcame them all and, once he did, he looked back at them as if they were just some funny game. He once said with a smile “struggle is my life”.
He never, ever gave up on what he really believed in. He had a clear goal in his mind which was making the world a better place and give freedom to people, no matter what it would take him. He kept on pursuing that goal in spite of his fears, in spite of unbearable pains and in spite of all the darkest feelings that a human being can have in a lifetime. Nothing and No one would stop his intention, not 27 years of prison, not the death of the people he loved, not the evil side of the human race.
At hate, he would respond with love and would say :
“People learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love, for loves comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite.”
I think this is why I cry and smile at the same time when I think of him. I cry for the world has lost one of the most wonderful human beings that ever existed. I smile because Madiba’s words will resonate in my heart, my mind and my soul forever.
I want to share here some of Mandela’s quotes, hoping that his words will inspire you as much as they inspire me.
As far as Style, this man doesn’t need clothes to express his greatness. Elegance is in the Soul.
Rest in peace dear Madiba, thank you for your teachings, thank you for your Soul and thank you for daring being a man.
“Difficulties break some men but make others. No axe is sharp enough to cut the soul of a sinner who keeps on trying, one armed with the hope that he will rise even in the end.”
“It always seems impossible until it’s done.”
“If I had my time over I would do the same again. So would any man who dares call himself a man.”
“I like friends who have independent minds because they tend to make you see problems from all angles.”
“Real leaders must be ready to sacrifice all for the freedom of their people.”
“A fundamental concern for others in our individual and community lives would go a long way in making the world the better place we so passionately dreamt of.”
“Everyone can rise above their circumstances and achieve success if they are dedicated to and passionate about what they do.”
“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.”
“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.”
“Resentment is like drinking poison and then hoping it will kill your enemies.”
“Lead from the back — and let others believe they are in front.”
“Do not judge me by my successes, judge me by how many times I fell down and got back up again.”
“I hate race discrimination most intensely and in all its manifestations. I have fought it all during my life; I fight it now, and will do so until the end of my days.”
“A good head and a good heart are always a formidable combination.”
Nelson Mandela – July 17th 1918 – December 5th 2013