Quotes about Nelson Mandela
17 Sourced Quotes
Mandela taught us the power of action, but he also taught us the power of ideas; the importance of reason and arguments; the need to study not only those who you agree with, but also those who you don't agree with. He understood that ideas cannot be contained by prison walls, or extinguished by a sniper's bullet. He turned his trial into an indictment of apartheid because of his eloquence and his passion, but also because of his training as an advocate. He used decades in prison to sharpen his arguments, but also to spread his thirst for knowledge to others in the movement. And he learned the language and the customs of his oppressor so that one day he might better convey to them how their own freedom depend upon his.
Even here in America, we felt the cool, refreshing breeze of freedom when Nelson Mandela took the seat of Presidency in his country where formerly he was not even allowed to vote. We were enlarged by tears of pride as we saw Nelson Mandela's former prison guards invited, courteously, by him to watch from the front rows his inauguration.
The questions we face today — how to promote equality and justice; how to uphold freedom and human rights; how to end conflict and sectarian war — these things do not have easy answers. But there were no easy answers in front of that child born in World War I. Nelson Mandela reminds us that it always seems impossible until it is done. South Africa shows that is true. South Africa shows we can change, that we can choose a world defined not by our differences, but by our common hopes. We can choose a world defined not by conflict, but by peace and justice and opportunity.
Even if there was a gun in my hand and he was standing in front of me, I would not shoot him. This is the compassion I have learned from Mohamed, the prophet of mercy, Jesus Christ and Lord Buddha. This the legacy of change I have inherited from Martin Luther King, Nelson Mandela and Mohammed Ali Jinnah. This is the philosophy of nonviolence that I have learned from Gandhi, Bacha Khan and Mother Teresa. And this is the forgiveness that I have learned from my father and from my mother. This is what my soul is telling me: be peaceful and love everyone.
Yes, I'd seen weakness in other men — Gramps and his disappointments, Lolo [my adoptive father] and his compromise. But these men had become object lessons for me, men I might love but never emulate, white men and brown men whose fates didn't speak to my own. It was into my father's image, the black man, son of Africa, that I'd packed all the attributes I sought in myself, the attributes of Martin and Malcolm, DuBois and Mandela.
Men are likely to be not only the warriors of war but also the warriors of peace. Almost all those who risk their lives, are put in jail, or are killed for peace are men. While some of the peace warriors—Nelson Mandela, Martin Luther King, Gandhi, Dag Hammarskjold—are remembered, most are forgotten. Remember Norm Morrison? After years of protesting the Vietnam war, Norm doused himself with gasoline and set himself on fire on the steps of the Pentagon[…] But Norm Morrison is forgotten.
Over the past few weeks, as the world commemorates Nelson Mandela, an uncomfortable spotlight has been shone on Conservatives who branded the ANC as terrorists in the 1980s, he says in an article on the UK ConservativeHome website. How will today's crop of Conservative climate refuseniks explain themselves to future generations, in a world made hotter, nasty and poor by global warming? There is nothing Conservative about advocating for the destruction of the climate, and thus all we hold dear. This is not a credible Conservative standpoint: it is reckless and extreme.
Nelson Mandela once remarked that he befriended his jailers, those grim, khaki-clad overseers of his decades of hard labor in a limestone quarry, by "exploiting their good qualities." Asked if he believed all people were kind at their core, he responded, "There is no doubt whatsoever, provided you are able to arouse their inherent goodness." If that sounds like wishful thinking, well, he actually did it.
I join with people of all races worldwide in mourning the death of this great lion of African liberation, but celebrating his magnificent life of service to the cause of freedom, human rights and justice for all humanity. Nelson Mandela's life and leadership exemplified the highest courage, dignity and dedication to human liberation. His name will always resonate in my heart, as it does in the hearts of millions of people all over the world. His death marks the end of an era, when leaders of unsurpassed courage and integrity walked among us.
Morsy was not only Egypt's democratically elected president, he is now emerging as the Arab world's Nelson Mandela... during Morsy's one-year reign, Egypt enjoyed freedom of expression and the right to demonstrate peacefully, and not a single one of his political opponents were jailed.
African peoples are now writing your own story of liberty. Africans have overcome the arrogance of colonial powers, overcome the cruelty of apartheid, and made it clear that dictatorship is not the future of any nation on this continent. In the process, Africa has produced heroes of liberation, leaders like Mandela, Senghor, Nkrumah, Kenyatta, Selassie and Sadat. And many visionary African leaders, such as my friend, have grasped the power of economic and political freedom to lift whole nations and put forth bold plans for Africa's development.