Quotes from Long Walk to Freedom: Autobiography of Nelson Mandela

Nelson Mandela ·  0 pages

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“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 toward the sun, one's feet moving forward. There were many dark moments when my faith in humanity was sorely tested, but I would not and could not give myself up to despair. That way lays defeat and death.”
― Nelson Mandela, quote from Long Walk to Freedom: Autobiography of Nelson Mandela


“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.”
― Nelson Mandela, quote from Long Walk to Freedom: Autobiography of Nelson Mandela


“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.”
― Nelson Mandela, quote from Long Walk to Freedom: Autobiography of Nelson Mandela


“A Nation should not be judged by how it treats its highest citizens, but it's lowest ones”
― Nelson Mandela, quote from Long Walk to Freedom: Autobiography of Nelson Mandela


“I had no epiphany, no singular revelation, no moment of truth, but a steady accumulation of a thousand slights, a thousand indignities and a thousand unremembered moments produced in me an anger, a rebelliousness, a desire to fight the system that imprisoned my people. There was no particular day on which I said, Henceforth I will devote myself to the liberation of my people; instead, I simply found myself doing so, and could not do otherwise.”
― Nelson Mandela, quote from Long Walk to Freedom: Autobiography of Nelson Mandela



“And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”
― Nelson Mandela, quote from Long Walk to Freedom: Autobiography of Nelson Mandela


“Freedom is indivisible; the chains on any one of my people were the chains on all of them, the chains on all of my people were the chains on me.”
― Nelson Mandela, quote from Long Walk to Freedom: Autobiography of Nelson Mandela


“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.”
― Nelson Mandela, quote from Long Walk to Freedom: Autobiography of Nelson Mandela


“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... Man's goodness is a flame that can be hidden but never extinguished.”
― Nelson Mandela, quote from Long Walk to Freedom: Autobiography of Nelson Mandela


“I have never cared very much for personal prizes. A person does not become a freedom fighter in the hope of winning awards.”
― Nelson Mandela, quote from Long Walk to Freedom: Autobiography of Nelson Mandela



“I could not imagine that the future I was walking toward could compare in any way to the past that I was leaving behind.”
― Nelson Mandela, quote from Long Walk to Freedom: Autobiography of Nelson Mandela


“Education is the great engine of personal development. It is through education that the daughter of a peasant can become a doctor, that the son of a mineworker can become the head of the mine, that a child of farmworkers can become the president of a great nation. It is what we make out of what we have, not what we are given, that separates one person from another.”
― Nelson Mandela, quote from Long Walk to Freedom: Autobiography of Nelson Mandela


“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, quote from Long Walk to Freedom: Autobiography of Nelson Mandela


“لم يكن تفوقي بالمدرسة نتيجة لنبوغي بل لإصراري و تصميمي على النجاح”
― Nelson Mandela, quote from Long Walk to Freedom: Autobiography of Nelson Mandela


“I learned that to humiliate another person is to make him suffer an unnecessarily cruel fate. Even as a boy, I defeated my opponents without dishonoring them.”
― Nelson Mandela, quote from Long Walk to Freedom: Autobiography of Nelson Mandela



“I always knew that deep down in every human heart, there is mercy and generosity. 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. Even in the grimmest times in prison, when my comrades and I were pushed to our limits, I would see a glimmer of humanity in one of the guards, perhaps just for a second, but it was enough to reassure me and keep me going. Man’s goodness is a flame that can be hidden but never extinguished.”
― Nelson Mandela, quote from Long Walk to Freedom: Autobiography of Nelson Mandela


“في أعماق كل إنسان حتى أكثر الناس وحشية وقسوة قدراً من الإنسانية وبإمكان كل إنسان أن يتغير إذا مالمستَ جوانب الخير في قلبه ونفسه”
― Nelson Mandela, quote from Long Walk to Freedom: Autobiography of Nelson Mandela


“I knew as well as I knew anything that the oppressor must be liberated just as surely as the oppressed. A man who takes away another man’s freedom is a prisoner of hatred, he is locked behind the bars of prejudice and narrow-mindedness. I am not truly free if I am taking away someone else’s freedom, just as surely as I am not free when my freedom is taken from me. The oppressed and the oppressor alike are robbed of their humanity.”
― Nelson Mandela, quote from Long Walk to Freedom: Autobiography of Nelson Mandela


“الذي يسلب إنساناً حريته يصير هو نفسه أسيراً للحقد والكراهية يعيش وراء قضبان التعصب وضيق الأفق”
― Nelson Mandela, quote from Long Walk to Freedom: Autobiography of Nelson Mandela


“يقال إنما تعرف الأمم بسجونها،إذ ينبغي الحكم على أمة ما من خلال معاملتهالأدنى مواطنيهاوليس لأرقاهم.”
― Nelson Mandela, quote from Long Walk to Freedom: Autobiography of Nelson Mandela



“In another conversation I said, ‘Tell me the truth. When you were leaving prison after twenty-seven years and walking down that road to freedom, didn’t you hate them all over again?’ And he said, ‘Absolutely I did, because they’d imprisoned me for so long. I was abused. I didn’t get to see my children grow up. I lost my marriage and the best years of my life. I was angry. And I was afraid, because I had not been free in so long. But as I got closer to the car that would take me away, I realized that when I went through that gate, if I still hated them, they would still have me. I wanted to be free. And so I let it go.”
― Nelson Mandela, quote from Long Walk to Freedom: Autobiography of Nelson Mandela


“life has a way of forcing decisions on those who vacillate.”
― Nelson Mandela, quote from Long Walk to Freedom: Autobiography of Nelson Mandela


“إن المرء قد يصل في لحظة معينة إلى الإيمان بأن مصدر الظلم لم يعد في الخارج بل في داخله هو نفسه.”
― Nelson Mandela, quote from Long Walk to Freedom: Autobiography of Nelson Mandela


“في السجن تصبح الذاكرة خليلاً وعدواً في آن واحد”
― Nelson Mandela, quote from Long Walk to Freedom: Autobiography of Nelson Mandela


“It was a useful reminder that all men, even the most seemingly cold-blooded, have a core of decency, and that if their heart is touched, they are capable of changing.”
― Nelson Mandela, quote from Long Walk to Freedom: Autobiography of Nelson Mandela



“التعليم هو أعظم محرك للنضوج الشخصي.
فهو الذي يمكّن ابنة الفلاح من أن تصبح طبيبة، وابن عامل المناجم من أن يصبح رئيساً للمناجم، وابن عامل المزرعة من أن يصبح رئيساً لدولة عظمى.
إن ما يميز فرد عن آخر هو قدرته على توظيف ما عنده من إمكانيات وليس ما يُعطى من ممتلكات ومزايا.”
― Nelson Mandela, quote from Long Walk to Freedom: Autobiography of Nelson Mandela


“Although I am a gregarious person, I love solitude even more.”
― Nelson Mandela, quote from Long Walk to Freedom: Autobiography of Nelson Mandela


“In some ways, it is easier to be a dissident, for then one is without responsibility.”
― Nelson Mandela, quote from Long Walk to Freedom: Autobiography of Nelson Mandela


“On the first day of school, my teacher, Miss Mdingane, gave each of us an English name and said that from thenceforth that was the name we would answer to in school. This was the custom among Africans in those days and was undoubtedly due to the British bias of our education. The education I received was a British education, in which British ideas, British culture, British institutions, were automatically assumed to be superior. There was no such thing as African culture. Africans of my generation—and even today—generally have both an English and an African name. Whites were either unable or unwilling to pronounce an African name, and considered it uncivilized to have one. That day, Miss Mdingane told me that my new name was Nelson. Why she bestowed this particular name upon me I have no idea. Perhaps it had something to do with the great British sea captain Lord Nelson, but that would be only a guess.”
― Nelson Mandela, quote from Long Walk to Freedom: Autobiography of Nelson Mandela


“Like the gardener, a leader must take responsibility for what he cultivates; he must mind his work, try to repel enemies, preserve what can be preserved, and eliminate what cannot succeed.”
― Nelson Mandela, quote from Long Walk to Freedom: Autobiography of Nelson Mandela



About the author

Nelson Mandela
Born place: in Mvezo, South Africa
Born date July 18, 1918
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