Quote of the Day
One individual can begin a movement that turns the tide of history. Martin Luther King in the civil rights movement, Mohandas Ganhi in India, Nelson Mandela in South Africa are examples of people standing up with courage and non-violence to bring about needed changes.
Nelson Mandela went to jail believing in violence, and 27 years later he and his colleagues had slowly and carefully honed the skills, the incredible skills, that they needed to turn one of the most vicious governments the world has known into a democracy. And they did it in a total devotion to non-violence.
Before Nelson Mandela was arrested in 1962, he was an angry, relatively young man. He founded the ANC's military wing. When he was released, he surprised everyone because he was talking about reconciliation and forgiveness and not about revenge.
I had the honor to meet Nelson Mandela, and I heard him explain his forgiveness of his captors of 27 years by saying hatred and bitterness is destructive - the power is in love and forgiveness.
We're trained to see the world in terms of charismatic organizations and charismatic people. That's who we look to for leadership and change, for transformation. We're awaiting the next J.F.K., the next Martin Luther King, the next Gandhi, the next Nelson Mandela.
Mandela's heroism is the heroism of a man who suffered so badly for what he thought of as freedom. And yet when he had the upper hand he has this incredible self-control and these incredible leadership qualities.
This may be a dream, but I'll say it anyway: I was supposed to be married last year, and I bought a gown. When I meet Nelson Mandela, I shall put on this gown and have the train of it removed and put aside, and kiss the ground that he walks on and then kiss his feet.
I think there's a mythology that if you want to change the world, you have to be sainted, like Mother Teresa or Nelson Mandela or Archbishop Desmond Tutu. Ordinary people with lives that go up and down and around in circles can still contribute to change.
I met Nelson Mandela, and I really didn't know what to say. It was years ago at a benefit. I was just in awe of this man because of what he'd done.
It's a blessing that South Africa has a man like Nelson Mandela.
I think our politicians could learn a lot from Mandela.
Do you realize, when Mandela was inaugurated president, he invited as his special guests the white jailers from his Robben Island prison? He literally did forgive everybody.
Just look at the great Nelson Mandela. He came out of prison and saved his entire country. Some of the best people in the world have spent time in prison.
I have been working for Africans since I was 18, when I got involved with the Nelson Mandela concerts. I got involved with debt cancellation because Desmond Tutu demanded that the world respond to that situation.
Nelson Mandela is, for me, the single statesman in the world. The single statesman, in that literal sense, who is not solving all his problems with guns. It's truly unbelievable.
Nelson Mandela is awe inspiring - a person who really sacrificed for what he believed in. I feel truly humbled by him.
I have learned so much from Nelson Mandela, and he has been my leader. He is a perpetual inspiration for me and millions of others around the world.
After Versace was murdered, the first person to call me was Mandela.
When Nelson Mandela walked free, the world sang with joy. Ever since, South Africa has stood as a beacon of hope for Africa.
The leaders who we admire who have been able to bring great change in the past - Gandhi, Martin Luther King, Nelson Mandela - they're all inspirational religious leaders and smart tacticians. It would be nice to find the Muslim Gandhi, wouldn't it?
Dennis C. Blair
As Nelson Mandela has pointed out, boycott is not a principle, it is a tactic depending upon circumstances. A tactic which allows people, as distinct from their elected but often craven governments, to apply a certain pressure on those wielding power in what they, the boycotters, consider to be an unjust or immoral way.
Think about all the great leaders. Think about Obama. Think about Clinton. Think about Nelson Mandela. Think about all the people that we know who are very successful in business, in politics and religion. What are they? They tell purposeful stories. They move people to action by aiming at the heart.
As far as those kinds of things, I also played at the concert to call for the release of Nelson Mandela when he was a political prisoner in South Africa. We were celebrating his 70th birthday and calling for his release.
When I first met Mandela, we did not discuss anything of substance; we just felt each other out. He spent a long time expressing his admiration for the Boer generals and how ingenious they were during the Anglo-Boer war.
F. W. de Klerk
Because Mr. Mandela's early opponents invested so many resources into distorting the true nature of his advocacy, the singular historic moment millions now celebrate could have been tragically lost to guerrilla decontextualization.
John F. Kennedy
Martin Luther King, Jr.
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