Friday, December 6, 2013

Nelson Mandela

Nelson Mandela,
Nelson Mandela 1918-2013
I'm sure you've already heard, but yesterday the world lost a great man. A man who was strong and inspirational, and symbolic in that he remained both of those things despite some of the toughest times and trials a person can endure. Nelson Mandela was known for his longstanding fight against South Africa's white supremacist government, which lead him to be arrested, convicted of conspiracy to overthrow the government, and sentenced to life in prison. In 1990, after serving 27 years in prison, he was set free by the then-President F.W. de Klerk. From there the two worked together to avoid a civil war, earning them both a Nobel Peace Prize. He later became the first black South African to hold office when he served as President of South Africa from 1994-1999. His government focused on tackling institutionalized racism, poverty and inequality, and fostering racial reconciliation. 

Nelson Mandela is one of those rare, special people that shares the same light with the likes of Gandhi and Martin Luther King. He will live forever as a symbol and his words I imagine will continue to touch and inspire. On that note, here are some of my favourite quotes of his: 

"Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world." 

"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." 

"I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it."

"A good head and a good heart are always a formidable combination." 

"As I walked out the door toward freedom I knew that if I did not leave all the anger, hatred, and bitterness behind, that I would still be in prison."

"It always seems impossible until it's done." 

I noticed this morning that Pinterest has put up a section "Honoring a man who inspired millions with his words and actions". If you have a moment you should check it out.

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