Six lessons Madiba taught us

mandelaMany of us are reflecting on the passing of Nelson Mandela (often known by his traditional Xhosa clan name ‘Madiba’) and the amazing difference he made in so many lives. While we mourn his loss, we also celebrate the many gifts he has given the world and the inspiring legacy he leaves behind.

The lessons that he has taught us are captured beautifully in his own words:

1. How to change the world for children

educationFB“There can be no keener revelation of a society’s soul than the way in which it treats its children.”

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

2. The importance of tenacity and patience

“The greatest glory in living lies not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall.”

“It always seems impossible until it’s done.”

3. That love is stronger than hate

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“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.”

4. How to lead

“A leader…is like a shepherd. He stays behind the flock, letting the most nimble go out ahead, whereupon the others follow, not realizing that all along they are being directed from behind.”

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

5. The contribution each of us can make by living our own lives as fully as possible

“There is no passion to be found in playing small, to live a life less than the one you are capable of living.”

“As we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.”

6. Alleviating poverty is not an act of charity, it’s an act of justice

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“While poverty persists, there is no true freedom.”

“Overcoming poverty is not a task of charity, it is an act of justice. Like slavery and apartheid, poverty is not natural. It is man-made and it can be overcome and eradicated by the actions of human beings. Sometimes it falls on a generation to be great. YOU can be that great generation. Let your greatness blossom.”


Remembering his courage, his character and his humanity today and in the days and years to come.

~ Debra

The photos with quotations used above are available as screensavers, for printing, or to post on social media. We offer them to you in tribute to Nelson Mandela and to the inspiration of his life and legacy. Please visit this page to download a variety of sizes.