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A freedom fighter learns the hard way that it is the oppressor who defines the nature of the struggle,and the oppressed is often left no recourse but to use methods that mirror those of the oppressor. At a point, one can only fight fire with fire.

NELSON MANDELA, Long Walk to Freedom

There is nothing I fear more than waking up without a program that will help me bring a little happiness to those with no resources, those who are poor, illiterate, and ridden with terminal disease. If there is anything that will one day kill me, it will be the inability to help them. If I can spend a tiny part of my life making them happy, I'll be happy.

NELSON MANDELA, O: The Oprah Magazine, Apr. 2001

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.

NELSON MANDELA, Long Walk to Freedom

I stand here before you not as a prophet but as a humble servant of you, the people. Your tireless and heroic sacrifices have made it possible for me to be here today. I therefore place the remaining years of my life in your hands.

NELSON MANDELA, speech on the day of his release from prison, Feb. 11, 1990

Without language, one cannot talk to people and understand them; one cannot share their hopes and aspirations, grasp their history, appreciate their poetry, or savor their songs.

NELON MANDELA, Long Walk to Freedom

No country can really develop unless its citizens are educated. Any nation that is progressive is led by people who have had the privilege of studying.

NELSON MANDELA, O: The Oprah Magazine, Apr. 2001

We have triumphed in the effort to implant hope in the breasts of the millions of our people. We enter into a covenant that we shall build the society in which all South Africans, both black and white, will be able to walk tall, without any fear in their hearts, assured of their inalienable right to human dignity — a rainbow nation at peace with itself and the world.

NELSON MANDELA, Inaugural celebration address, May 10, 1994

A good head and a good heart are always a formidable combination.

NELSON MANDELA, Long Walk to Freedom

It was during those long and lonely years that my hunger for the freedom of my own people became a hunger for the freedom of all people, white and black. I knew as well as I knew anything that the oppressor must be liberated just as surely as the oppressed.

NELSON MANDELA, Long Walk to Freedom

I am not a saint, unless you think of a saint as a sinner who keeps on trying.

NELSON MANDELA, attributed, Nelson Mandela: His Words

Sports have the power to change the world. It has the power to inspire, the power to unite people in a way that little else does. It speaks to youth in a language they understand. Sports can create hope, where there was once only despair. It is more powerful than governments in breaking down racial barriers. It laughs in the face of all types of discrimination.

NELSON MANDELA, remarks at Laureus World Sports Awards, 2000

Man's goodness is a flame that can be hidden but never extinguished.



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