Nelson Mandela quotes

Former president Nelson Mandela. Photo: PresidenciaRD / Flickr

Nelson Mandela Day: Eight Madiba quotes that give us hope for the future

The spirit of good will and reconciliation should be the order of Nelson Mandela Day on Thursday – we’ve picked out his best quotes for a brighter tomorrow.

Nelson Mandela quotes

Former president Nelson Mandela. Photo: PresidenciaRD / Flickr

On Nelson Mandela’s 101st birthday, Thursday is a time for quiet reflection and helping your communities. Many people across South Africa will be putting in their 67 minutes of volunteer work throughout the day, and it’s yet another sterling legacy left behind by Madiba – just like the most famous quotes of his that we can all live by.

Nelson Mandela Day 2019

This time every year, we look back over his sage words of advice. He may have said some of these things decades ago, but the relevance of his words are immortal. This year, we’re looking at the quotes that give us hope for a brighter tomorrow, as South Africa continues its attempts to overcome the deep divisions sewn by apartheid.

The words Madiba lived by are a shining example for us all. Whether from his autobiography, political addresses or comments made in passing, the father of our nation always had something valuable to say. Here’s eight of the best we’re going to celebrate on Nelson Mandela Day 2019…

Top Nelson Mandela quotes that are relevant today:

Dealing with enemies

“If you want to make peace with your enemy, you have to work with your enemy. Then he becomes your partner.”

How to make a difference

“What counts in life is not the mere fact that we have lived. It is what difference we have made to the lives of others that will determine the significance of the life we lead.” 

Nelson Mandela on race

“No one is born hating another person because of the colour 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.”

Sometimes, the shorter quotes are the best…

“Lead from the back – and let others believe they are in front.” 

A Nelson Mandela classic:

“It always seems impossible, until it is done.”

Inspiration for us all

“Everyone can rise above their circumstances and achieve success if they are dedicated to and passionate about what they do.”

Coping with adversity

“Difficulties break some men but make others. No axe is sharp enough to cut the soul of a sinner who keeps on trying, one armed with the hope that he will rise even in the end.”

Taking things on the chin

“It is in the character of growth that we should learn from both pleasant and unpleasant experiences.”

  • Nelson Mandela Day takes place every year on 18 July