When I think of serving leaders I think of Nelson Mandela. When I heard of his passing I wasn’t sure exactly what to say. I had studied Nelson Mandela’s life and he always continued to fascinate me. I’ve studied many serving leaders in my life but was struck by what this man had to go through to help his fellow countrymen to be free. Today, I thought I’d share the man’s words and then tomorrow share my thoughts on his life and impact on the world. You cannot only judge a man by his words but also by his actions. Words can only provide a foundation for taking action. You can see why this man played such an important role in our world.
I hope as you reflect on Nelson Mandela’s life, you will be reminded how one man or woman can make such a huge difference in our world. I hope they inspire you the way they’ve inspired me. Here are some of his quotes that have inspired me:
I have learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. I felt fear myself more times than I can remember, but I hid it behind the mask of boldness. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he conquers that fear.
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 towards the sun, one’s feet moving forward.
I have often wondered whether a person is justified in neglecting his own family to fight for opportunities of others.
We slaughter one another in our words and attitudes. We slaughter one another in stereotypes and mistrust that linger in our heads, and the words of hate we spew from our lips.
A new world will be won not by those who stand at a distance with their arms folded, but by those who are in the arena, whose garments are torn by storms and bodies maimed in the course of the contest.
When a man is denied the right to live the life he believes in, he has no choice but to become an outlaw.
The most powerful weapon is not violence but talking to people.
Real leaders must be ready to sacrifice all for the freedom of the people.
The purpose of freedom is to create it for others.
To go to prison because of your convictions, and be prepared to suffer for what you believe in, is something worthwhile. It is an achievement for man to do his duty on earth irrespective of the consequences.
Prison is itself a tremendous education in the need for patience and perseverance. It is, above all, a test of one’s commitment. Those who passes through that school have all acquired a firmness, tempered by remarkable resilience.
One issue that deeply worried me in prison was the false image that I unwittingly projected to the outside world: of being regarded as a saint. I never was one, even on the basis of an earthly definition of a saint as a sinner who keeps on trying.
Victory in a great cause is measured not only by reaching the final goal. It is also a triumph to live up to expectations in your lifetime.
You can see through his own words and actions why I look up to this man. Rest in peace, Nelson Mandela.