Nelson Mandela: He Changed the World

Picture from theworldbyroad.com
President Obama said of former President Nelson Mandela, “He no longer belongs to us. He belongs to the ages.”
South African President Jacob Zuma said “We’ve lost our greatest son.”
And although President Mandela had been sick and was 95 at his passing, his death is still profound. I feel it. Like a light has left this world. A real-life hero gone. Mandela’s resilience in the face of adversity is unmatched. His life, though hard, speaks volumes about the kind of people we need to be. A man of peace that lived it and made it available and acceptable to those who would give it a chance. He embodied the gentleness and humbleness of character that truly makes a person great. Mandela was a great man. One that I deeply admired. One that the whole world will weep for and mourn. He changed the World. His life made a difference.

Some of his famous quotes, and ones that I particularly like are these:

“Difficulties break some men but make others.” (From a letter to wife, Winnie Mandela, from Robben Island, February 1975)


“Without democracy there cannot be peace.” (South Africa, May 9, 1992)


“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.” (From Long Walk to Freedom, 1995)


“Man’s goodness is a flame that can be hidden but never extinguished.” (From Long Walk to Freedom, 1995)


 “I have fought against white domination and I have fought against black domination. I have cherished the ideal of a democratic and free society in which all person live together in harmony and with equal opportunities. It is an ideal which I hope to live for and to achieve. But if needs be, it is an ideal for which I am prepared to die.”



From his Inaugural address:

We are both humbled and elevated by the honor and privilege that you, the people of South Africa, have bestowed on us, as the first President of a united, democratic, non-racial and non-sexist South Africa, to lead our country out of the valley of darkness.

We understand it still that there is no easy road to freedom.

We know it well that none of us acting alone can achieve success.

We must therefore act together as a united people, for national reconciliation, for nation building, for the birth of a new world.

Let there be justice for all.

Let there be peace for all.

Let there be work, bread, water and salt for all.

Let each know that for each the body, the mind and the soul have been freed to fulfill themselves.

Never, never and never again shall it be that this beautiful land will again experience the oppression of one by another and suffer the indignity of being the skunk of the world.

Let freedom reign.

The sun shall never set on so glorious a human achievement!

God bless Africa!


Whenever I think of Mandela, I think of strength, hope and peace. HIs life and legacy = amazing. I count it a privilege to have lived on the Earth at the same time as him – to be alive at the same time as one of the greatest men this world has ever known. A teacher. A humanitarian. A giver. A servant. A legend. He was an inspiration. A worldwide shepherd. He changed the world.
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