Wise Words from Nelson Mandela

By Katie Arango

As the world mourns the loss of one of its most influential heroes, it’s important that we remember all that Nelson Mandela taught us over the course of his long life. A true visionary and a champion for equality, he showed us that change is possible and that even the harshest of life’s challenges can be overcome pacifically.

Unquestionably, he was a beloved leader and a man of many achievements. But equally importantly, he was a sage voice that stood for freedom, peace and triumph over adversity. Here are ten inspirational, thought-provoking Mandela quotes about courage, humanity, forgiveness, justice, struggle and changing the world.


1.  “Sometmes it falls upon a generation to be great, you can be that generation.”

2.  “There is nothing like returning to a place that remains unchanged to find the ways in which you yourself have altered.”

3.  “A good head and a good heart are always a formidable combination.”

4.  “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.”

5.  “A nation should not be judged by how it treats its highest citizens, but its lowest ones.”


6.  “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.”

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

8.  “Courage is not the absence of fear — it’s inspiring others to move beyond it.”

9.  “It always seems impossible until its done.”

10.  “There is no passion to be found playing small – in settling for a life that is less than the one you are capable of living.”

Which one most resonates with you?  Leave your favorite quote by Tata Madiba in the comments section below.

Katie Arango

Program Director, Argentina:Katie, a US native, had traveled to Buenos Aires on several extended trips before the city’s lure became too strong and she decided to call it home. Long fascinated by the global scene, Katie earned a degree in International Studies from Miami University and spent time studying and living in Madrid, Spain. She then worked in marketing for an international board game company followed by a brief foray as an online community editor for several websites before joining the Connect-123 team. Still a tourist at heart herself, Katie loves watching newcomers discover the charm of Buenos Aires and takes great pleasure in helping them make the most out of their work and volunteer opportunities while experiencing everything this dynamic city has to offer.

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