Quotations From NELSON MANDELA

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  • Communists have always played an active role in the fight by colonial countries for their freedom, because the short- term objects of Communism would always correspond with the long-term objects of freedom movements.
    Nelson Mandela (b. 1918), South African political leader. Statement, April-May 1964, to the court in the Rivonia trial, South Africa. quoted in Fatima Meer, Higher than Hope, pt. 4, ch. 24 (1988-1990).

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  • Only free men can negotiate. Prisoners cannot enter into contracts.
    Nelson Mandela (b. 1918), South African political leader. statement from prison, Feb. 10, 1985. quoted in Higher than Hope, pt. 4, ch. 30, Fatima Meer (1988). refusing the terms offered for his release by South African President P.W. Botha. The statement was read by Zindzi Mandela, Nelson's daughter, at a UDF rally at the Jabulani Stadium, Soweto.
  • “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.”
  • “When a man is denied the right to live the life he believes in, he has no choice but to become an outlaw.”
  • “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.”
  • “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.”
  • “It always seems impossible until its done.”
  • “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.”
  • “Resentment is like drinking poison and then hoping it will kill your enemies.”
  • “For to be free is not merely to cast off ones chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others.”
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