Friday, December 6, 2013

Quotes From Long Walk to Freedom

I read Long Walk to Freedom by Nelson Mandela about 12 years ago, and I compiled this list of quotations from the book. From time to time, in my own moments of needing courage, comfort and reassurance, I will return to them and read them again. I would like to share them with you.

There is little favorable to be said about poverty, but it was often an incubator of true friendship……………..Yet, poverty often brings out the true generosity in others.
—Nelson Mandela,  Long Walk to Freedom

Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.
—Nelson Mandela, Long Walk to Freedom

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, Long Walk to Freedom

I also learned that to dishonor or neglect one’s ancestors would bring ill-fortune and failure in life. —Nelson Mandela, Long Walk to Freedom

The answer, as far as the ANC [African National Congress] was concerned, was that we could not remain indifferent even when we were shut out of the process. We were excluded, but not unaffected: the defeat of the National Party [Pro Apartheid] would be in our interest and that of all Africans.
—Nelson Mandela, Long Walk to Freedom

Everyone who wanted to speak did so. It was democracy in its purest form. There may have been a hierarchy of importance among the speakers, but everyone was heard, chief and subject, warrior and medicine man, shopkeeper and farmer, landowner and laborer. People spoke without interruption and the meetings lasted for many hours. The foundation of self-government was that all men were free to voice their opinions and equal in their value as citizens.
—Nelson Mandela, Long Walk to Freedom

Only mass education, he used to say, would free my people, arguing that an educated man could not be oppressed because he could think for himself. He told me over and over again that becoming a successful attorney and thereby a model of achievement for my people was the most worthwhile path I could follow.
—Nelson Mandela, Long Walk to Freedom