Six lessons from Nelson Mandela’s life

The leader of the South African anti-apartheid movement, Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela, died in Johannesburg on December 5th.

He was an activist lawyer, politician and philanthropist who, despide considering a controversial figure, increased his popularity after he was imprisioned and spent 27 years on jail. Once released, he gained international acclaim and received hundreds of honours, including the Nobel Prize Peace in 1993.

There are some things (among others) that we can learn from his inspirational life:


1. Crisis make us stronger.

Mandela spent almost 30% of his life in prision. But went on and assumed that “there is no easy walk to freedom.”


2. Change the strategy, if necessary.

We can change our mind and focus on what is really important. Such a thing implies leaving our comfort zone: “if you want to make peace with your enemy, you have to work with your enemy. Then he becomes your partner.”


3. Be ready to learn all the time.

Above all, to re-learn what is good, useful and necessary. “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.”


4. Don’t stop working.

Work hard. “It always seems impossible until its done.”. And then, work harder. Mandela said: “After climbing a great hill, one only finds that there are many more hills to climb.”



5. Don’t think only in ourselves.

Nobody can be happy based on the unhappiness of the others. In Mandela’s words: “For 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.”


6. Be clever.

There are weapons that made no harm. Let’s use them. Mandela said: “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.”


As William Shakespeare stated, “there is no bad beginning to a good end“.

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