Friday, August 13, 2010

The Words




During the trip to South Africa I was immensely fortunate to visit the house ( now museum) of Nelson Mandela in the SOWETO.
And I bought a book,”In the words of Nelson Mandel”.

Some of the gems from that book are given here under.



"I have walked that long road to freedom. I have tried not to falter; I have made missteps along the way. But I have discovered the secret that after climbing a great hill, one only finds that there are many more hills to climb. I have taken a moment here to rest, to steal a view of the glorious vista that surrounds me, to look back on the distance I have come. But I can rest only for a moment, for with freedom comes responsibilities, and I dare not linger, for my long walk is not yet ended."
On Gandhi

"India  you sent us a barrister and we gave you back a 'Mahatma' ".


On Abortion

 “Women have the right to decide what they want to do with their bodies”.


On Africa

 "We cannot abuse the concept of national sovereignty to deny the rest of the Continent the right and duty to intervene when, behind those sovereign boundaries , people are being slaughtered to protect tyranny”.



 On being an African

“All of us descendants of Africa , know only too well that racism demeans the victims and dehumanizes the perpetrators”.

On Age

“What nature has decreed should not generate undue insecurity”.

On Apartheid

“With the exception of the atrocities against the Jews during the World War II there is no evil that has been condemned by the entire world, as apartheid”

On Children

“There can be no keener revelation of a society’s soul than the way in which it treats its children”.

On the Death sentence

“The death sentence is a reflection of the animal instinct still in human beings”.

On Determination

“As long as you have iron will you  can turn misfortune into advantage”.


 On Enemies

“I wanted South Africa to see that I loved even my enemies while I hated the system that turned us against one another”.

On His Family

“I did not in the beginning choose to place my people above my family, but in attempting to do so, I found I was prevented from fulfilling my obligations as a son, a brother, a father and a husband”.

On Freedom

“Only free men can negotiate”.

On Health

“The wounds that cannot be seen are more painful than those that can be treated by a doctor”.

On Himself

“I was made by the law, a criminal, not because of what I had done, but  because of what I stood for, because of what I thought, because of my conscience”.

On Home

“I long to see the little stones on which I played as a child, the little rivers, where I swam- but I m now stationed in ….”

On Marriage

“The whole purpose of a husband and wife is that when hard times knock at the door you should be able to embrace each other”.

At His Parents Grave

“These graves mean a great deal to me, because my beloved parents are here and it arouses a great deal of emotion in me because a part of me lies buried here”.

On People

“It is the growth of character that we should learn from both pleasant and unpleasant experiences”

On General Colin Powell

“I won’t wash this hand you have shaken”.

On his retirement

“I must step down while there are one or two people who will admire me”.

On self respect

“If you are in harmony with yourself , you may meet a ion without fear, because he respects anyone with self- confidence”

8 comments:

RGB said...

Such inspiring words...filled with such optimism!

A New Beginning said...

Very Inspiring!

A New Beginning said...

Very Inspiring!

Insignia said...

I loved his statement on abortion and on freedom. man of great values he is

sujata said...

Nelson Mandela was my hero, never having heard Martin Luther King live. Still admire both their fights against freedom and apartheid. Inspiring quotes

anilkurup said...

@sujatha,
Yes strange men and of the very few in flesh and blood who rarely come into the world.

Balachandran V said...

The simplicity and elegance of his words speaks loud for the man!

anilkurup said...

@ Balachandran

Such men are less than a few.