Learnings From The Life Of Nelson Mandela


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

A human rights lawyer, an international peacemaker, and the first democratically elected president of a free South Africa, Nelson Mandela has left us with a lot to learn from.

On November 2009, UN General Assembly declared 18th July as ‘Nelson Mandela International Day’. The day recognizes and reminds us of Mandela’s contribution towards a culture of peace and freedom. He spent over 67 years in service of humanity fighting for causes like racial discrimination, gender inequality, poverty, social justice, the rights of children and other vulnerable groups.

So, on this Mandela Day, let’s revisit the life of this great man and dwell on the valuable life lessons we can draw from him. There could be no better tribute for the man.

  1. “Action without vision is only passing time, vision without action is merely daydreaming, but vision with action can change the world.”

Most things begin and should begin by setting a goal. Only when you have a clear vision of what you want to achieve, you will be able to work towards it. So, make it a point to set a goal for yourselves. It could be as simple as scoring well in a mathematics assignment or learning all the elements of the periodic table.

  1. “When people are determined, they can overcome anything.”

Once your vision is set, the next thing in line should be adhering to it. Short-lived temptations (like skipping a lecture) and procrastination (like pushing your homework to the last day) can take you further away from your goal. So, always be determined and dedicated, and you will find all the strength in the world to overcome any hurdle.

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

A quote like this is not only applicable to people but also concepts. For instance, if you see biology as your enemy – in Mandela’s words – you’ll have to work with it. So, don’t fear or run away from your enemy. Sit with it and sort out all the issues. When you spend time with it, you’ll realize that it is not that bad. All it needs is a little persistence and patience.

  1. “There can be no greater gift than that of giving one’s time and energy to help others without expecting anything in return.”

One of the strongest qualities that we remember Nelson Mandela for, is selflessness. You must have helped your friends when they came to you. Maybe when they were stuck with their lesson on trigonometry or the concept of a black hole. You would have helped them in clearing their doubts without wanting anything in return! And that’s what selflessness is all about. Always remember to share your time and knowledge with others and see yourself growing with them.

  1. “Education is the great engine of personal development… It is what we make out of what we have, not what we are given, that separates one person from another.”

Mandela spoke vociferously about the need for educating the world. He believed that a nation’s growth and an individual’s personal growth can happen with education only. So, future leaders, learn, learn, and learn. Gather all the knowledge you can get your hands on and keep questioning the structures around you. This is the only way to give birth or to realize to your dreams.

Today, as the world celebrates Nelson Mandela and his many contributions towards the society, it is best to leave you with a quote from the man himself.

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