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Thursday, December 5, 2013

Rest Well Father Freedom ~ Remembering Nelson Mandela's Legacy as the Regal Revolutionary

Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela, 95 year old statesman, Nobel Peace Prize winner and anti-apartheid revolutionary, died leaving behind the love of his family, nation and the world. The son of a Tembu chief, he was named Rolihlahla, meaning “troublemaker,” until his first day at school where his teacher dubbed "Nelson" to conform to the British bias in education. Drawn to politics in his teens, his civil rights era fight to end apartheid (a system of racial segregation enforced through Dutch colonial legislation) resulted in Mandela serving almost three decades in prison. After his hard earned release in 1990, Mandela led negotiations that abolished apartheid and established a multiracial election in 1994. Subsequently he went on to become the first black South African to hold the office of President. In the same year Mandela's autobiography Long Walk to Freedom was published profiling his early life, maturation, education and 27 years of incarceration. 

An international political and social icon, Mandela lived for nearly a century wholly dedicated to freedom, justice, education, combating poverty, HIV/AIDS prevention and inspiring all people to live their dreams and create their legacies. 

Coming of age in the 1980s and 1990s I was aware of Mandela's mission for equality, the impact of his life story and how his words and ideas influenced a new generation of world 

In the wake of his transition from this Earth, please share the lessons of this luminary with our youth so that they too might shine their lights and lead the less fortunate out of the shadows of injustice. 

1. "Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine as children do. It’s not just in some of us; it is in everyone. And as we let our own lights shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”

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

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

4. "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."

5. “There is no passion to be found playing small - in settling for a life that is less than the one you are capable of living.” 

6. "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."

7. "Do not judge me by my successes, judge me by how many times I fell down and got back up again."

8. “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.”

9. “When a man is denied the right to live the life he believes in, he has no choice but to become an outlaw.” 

10. “I am fundamentally an optimist. Whether that comes from nature or nurture, I cannot say. 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. That way lays defeat and death.” 

11. “No one is born hating another person because of the color of his skin, or his background, or his religion. 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.” 

12. “If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head. If you talk to him in his language, that goes to his heart.” 

13. “As I have said, the first thing is to be honest with yourself. You can never have an impact on society if you have not changed yourself... Great peacemakers are all people of integrity, of honesty, but humility.” 

14. "Lead from the back — and let others believe they are in front."

15. “As I have said, the first thing is to be honest with yourself. You can never have an impact on society if you have not changed yourself... Great peacemakers are all people of integrity, of honesty, but humility.” 

16. “Where you stand depends on where you sit.” 

17. “It is said that no one truly knows a nation until one has been inside its jails. A nation should not be judged by how it treats its highest citizens, but its lowest ones.” 

18. “There is nothing like returning to a place that remains unchanged to find the ways in which you yourself have altered.” 

19. “After climbing a great hill, one only finds that there are many more hills to climb.”

20. “We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, handsome, talented and fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be?” 

1 comment:

Lady MGA said...

So well put! I recommend the book by "Nelson Mandela" by Kadir Nelson for the your little ones. Beautifully illustrated and written in a way that captures his totality.