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Friday, December 6, 2013

Day 476: Mandela - A Tribute

http://www.sowetanlive.co.za/news/mandela/2013/07/18/67-awesome-quotes-by-nelson-mandela

“It always seems impossible until it’s done."

“Do not judge me by my successes, judge me by how many times I fell down and got back up again.”

“Resentment is like drinking poison and then hoping it will kill your enemies.”

"Our children are our greatest treasure. They are our future. Those who abuse them tear at the fabric of our society and weaken our nation."

“What counts in life is not the mere fact that we have lived. It is what difference we have made to the lives of others that will determine the significance of the life we lead.”

“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.”

“I was called a terrorist yesterday, but when I came out of jail, many people embraced me, including my enemies, and that is what I normally tell other people who say those who are struggling for liberation in their country are terrorists. I tell them that I was also a terrorist yesterday, but, today, I am admired by the very people who said I was one.”

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

“No one is born hating another person because of the colour 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, for love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite.”

“If you want to make peace with your enemy, you have to work with your enemy. Then he becomes your partner.”

"When I walked out of prison, that was my mission, to liberate the oppressed and the oppressor both"

There are very few people who pass through this life with truly selfless intentions - Mandela was certainly one of these people. His presence on this Earth benefited us all.

Why is it that the truly good and decent people who live for the betterment of others are so rare? Is it really so unappealing to live selflessly? Why should the best parts of who we are be so rarely lived?

In this day and age we have opportunities that we have never had before to improve life on Earth for everyone - so why do we still place so much value in the things that do not actually matter? Why do we choose diamonds and gold over kindness and compassion? Why do we condemn others to living on the breadline because of something so essentially useless as money? Why do we condemn children to lives of poverty and fighting for their very survival because of some outlived notion that money determines the value of a life?

We may not be a world of racial segregation anymore, but we most definitely have become a world of economic segregation - the wealthy are the supremacists and the poor are the worthless scum who's only redeeming quality is their capacity for hard labour in return for meager wages. Why is a situation like this not regarded as appalling by every living being, instead of just a few with a heightened sense of empathy? We do we not rise up against this world system? The only reason that the system is able to function the way it does is beca
use we accept it the way it is - this doesn't mean that we like it.

Accepting the system means that we believe that this just is the way life is and that there is no possibility for change. In essence, we are living in a self-fulfilling prophecy: because we believe that there is no possibility of change we make no real effort to change and so nothing changes, which further validates our belief that there is no possibility of change.

We must each push ourselves to see past our limiting beliefs to see what is truly possible. We do not have to accept a world in which kindness and empathy are regarded as weakness and cruelty and aggression are regarded as strength. It will not be easy - but change for the betterment of all life on Earth is possible.

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