12 Inspiring Nelson Mandela Quotes to Recite During Hard Times

Nelson Mandela freedom fistAfrica’s most peaceful and influential leader may no longer be with us, but his legacy lives on in the country he worked so hard to free, the various charities organizations he founded, and finally, his words.

Here are some quotes from Nelson Mandela – who died on Thursday in Johannesburg at the ripe age of 95 – to memorize, recite and live by:

1. “May your choices reflect your hopes, not your fears.”

2. “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.” 

3. “It always seems impossible until its done.”

4. “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.”

5. “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.”

6. “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.”

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

8. “We should never forget those on whose shoulders we stand and those who paid the supreme price for freedom.”

9. “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.”

10. “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.”

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

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

[July 18, 1918 – December 5, 2013]

Read: See Nelson Mandela’s ‘I Am Prepared To Die’ Speech, Which Put Him In Prison For 27 Years

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