Today I mourn the death of Nelson “Madiba” Mandela and I celebrate his life. His transformative leadership changed a nation and a world. I’ve listed 5 lessons I’ve learned from his life.
- “It always seems impossible until it’s done”-Nelson Mandela
To accomplish goals that have never been attempted, to change systems that oppress and even to change the world for the greater good of humanity begins with one small step. Often times in the midst of working towards something greater than oneself, challenges come, small battles are lost and disappointments are met, however just knowing that there is a hope and possibility on every journey gives me courage to persevere.
One of the most powerful lessons I’ve learned from Nelson Mandela is Ubuntu. This concept is all about the interconnectedness of humanity. When I began to understand that my actions or inactions have the potential to positively or negatively impact someone else, my worldview changed and I became more aware of my deep, sincere love for people and my life’s work reflects such.
3. “Real leaders must be ready to sacrifice all for the freedom of their people.”-Nelson Mandela
Nelson Mandela literally sacrificed his freedom for the people. His harsh conditions in prison did not deter him from the bigger goal of freedom. Many of us are free but are not willing to sacrifice our lives or freedom for others. Thanks to Mandela I have a greater understanding of what sacrifice for humanity means and how sacrifice can change the world.
4. “If I had my time over I would do the same again, so would any man who dares call himself a man.”-Nelson Mandela
Living a life with no regrets, but rather living a life where decisions are opportunities to learn and reflect is another lesson I’ve learned for Nelson Mandela. I have to stand boldly and accept decisions I’ve made in both my personal and professional life and know that every step I’ve taken is a part of me becoming who I am called to be.
5. “I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.”-Nelson Mandela
I often ask myself, “What would I do if I knew I could not fail?” Mandela taught me that whatever I attempt should be without fear, but with the courage demonstrated in his life. Evil forces in this world operate from a place of fear, but they will never win when courage stands up against those forces.
I can’t express enough how thankful I am for what Mr. Mandela gave this world. His courage, love and sacrifice for others is a great expression of his humanity and I am forever grateful for him.