Looking for inspirational quotes by Nelson Mandela about what seems possible, obtaining mental freedom and finding forgiveness?
There is no denying that Nelson Mandela is one of the most prolific people who inspired us during our lifetime.
This is a man who stood up for what he believed in by working with words and actions, NOT violence. He was wrongfully imprisoned and could have come out bitter and angry.
But instead, he came out grateful and empowered. You can check out some of our gratitude quotes here.
Here are some of the best and most powerful quotes by Nelson Mandela to inspire you.
Quotes by Nelson Mandela on Forgiveness
1. “No one is born hating another person because of the color of his skin, or his background, or his religion.” – Nelson Mandela
2. “In my country, we go to prison first and then become President.” – Nelson Mandela
3. “The color of my skin is beautiful, like the soil of Mother Africa.” – Nelson Mandela
4. “I have a special attachment to the people who befriended me during times of distress.” – Nelson Mandela
5. “I am not a saint, unless you think a saint is a sinner who keeps trying.” – an 81-year-old Mandela at Houston in 1999
6. “You will achieve more in this world through acts of mercy than you will through acts of retribution.” – Nelson Mandela
7. “A man is never more truthful than when he acknowledges himself a liar.” – Nelson Mandela
8. “Money won’t create success. The freedom to make it will.” – Nelson Mandela
9. “Only free men can negotiate. Prisoners cannot enter into contracts.” – Nelson Mandela
10. “It is in your hands, to make a better world for all who live in it.” – Nelson Mandela
If you’re enjoying these quotes, make sure to check out our collection of generosity quotes that inspire happiness.
Inspirational quotes by Nelson Mandela about love and humanity
11. “We must all strive to be inspired by a deep-seated love of our country, without regard to race, color, gender or station in life.” – Nelson Mandela
12. “There were many dark moments when my faith in humanity was sorely tested, but I would not and could not give myself up to despair.” – Nelson Mandela
13. “We must strive to be moved by a generosity of spirit that will enable us to outgrow the hatred and conflicts of the past.” – Nelson Mandela
14. “They 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” – Nelson Mandela
15. “The habit of attending to small things and of appreciating small courtesies is one of the important marks of a good person” – Nelson Mandela
Also, read these Braveheart quotes that will inspire you to find your freedom.
Inspirational quotes by Nelson Mandela about our Youth
16. “Of course we desire education and we think it is a good thing, but you don’t have to have education in order to know that you want certain fundamental rights, you have got aspirations, you have got claims.” – Nelson Mandela’s first ever TV interview in 1961
17. “History will judge us by the difference we make in the everyday lives of children” – Nelson Mandela, at a luncheon hosted by United Nations Secretary General Kofi Anan at the special session of the UN for Children, New York City May 9, 2002
18. “It is through education that the daughter of a peasant can become a doctor, that the son of a mineworker can become the head of the mine.” – Nelson Mandela
19. “I am the product of Africa and her long-cherished view of rebirth that can now be realized so that all of her children may play in the sun.” – Nelson Mandela
20. “There can be no keener revelation of a society’s soul than the way in which it treats its children.” – Nelson Mandela
21. “The children who sleep in the streets, reduced to begging to make a living, are testimony to an unfinished job.”- Nelson Mandela
22. “I waited for over 70 years to cast my first vote. I chose to do it near the grave of John Dube, the first President of the ANC” – Nelson Mandela
23. “As I am former prisoner number 46664, there is a special place in my heart for all those that are denied access to their basic human rights.” – Nelson Mandela, closing ceremony of the XV International AIDS Conference, Bangkok, Thailand, 16 July 2004
24. “It is an achievement for a man to do his duty on Earth irrespective of the consequences.” – Nelson Mandela
Inspirational Quotes by Nelson Mandela About Freedom
25. “It was during those long and lonely years that my hunger for the freedom of my people became a hunger for the freedom of all people.” – Nelson Mandela
26. “To be an African in South Africa means that one is politicized from the moment of one’s birth, whether one acknowledges it or not.” – Nelson Mandela
27. “Overcoming poverty is not a task of charity, it is an act of justice. Like slavery and Apartheid, poverty is not natural.” – Nelson Mandela
28. “Courage is not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear” – Nelson Mandela
29. “There is no passion to be found playing small – in settling for a life that is less than the one you are capable of living.” – Nelson Mandela
Inspirational Quotes by Nelson Mandela About Leadership and What Seems Possible
30. “It always seems impossible until it’s done.” – Nelson Mandela
31. “We must use time wisely and forever realize that the time is always ripe to do right.” – Nelson Mandela
32. “Difficulties break some men but make others. No axe is sharp enough to cut the soul of a sinner who keeps on trying.” – Nelson Mandela
33. “When I walked out of prison, that was my mission – to liberate the oppressed and the oppressor both.” – Nelson Mandela
34. “You take the front line when there is danger. Then people will appreciate your leadership.” – Nelson Mandela
35. “Significant progress is always possible if we ourselves try to plan every detail of our lives and actions.” – Nelson Mandela
36. “As a leader of a mass organization, one must listen to the people from the back — and let others believe they are in front.” – Nelson Mandela
37. “It is what we make out of what we have, not what we are given, that separates one person from another.” – Nelson Mandela
38. “If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head. If you talk to him in his language, that goes to his heart.” – Nelson Mandela
39. “After climbing a great hill, one only finds that there are many more hills to climb.” – Nelson Mandela
40. “One of the things I learned when I was negotiating was that until I changed myself, I could not change others.” – Nelson Mandela
Quotes by Nelson Mandela on Education
41. “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.” – Nelson Mandela
42. “There are certain precautions you should take to prepare yourself for a fruitful study career. You must brush up your knowledge through systematic reading of literature and newspapers.” – Nelson Mandela
43. “No country can really develop unless its citizens are educated.” – Nelson Mandela
44. “The power of education extends beyond the development of skills we need for economic success. It can contribute to nation-building and reconciliation.” – Nelson Mandela
45. “It is not beyond our power to create a world in which all children have access to a good education. Those who do not believe this have small imaginations.” – Nelson Mandela
46. “Young people must take it upon themselves to ensure that they receive the highest education possible so that they can represent us well in the future as future leaders.” – Nelson Mandela
47. “A good head and a good heart are always a formidable combination.” – Nelson Mandela
48. “When a deep injury is done to us, we never heal until we forgive.” – Nelson Mandela
49. “When a man is denied the right to live the life he believes in, he has no choice but to become an outlaw.”― Nelson Mandela
50. “If you want to make peace with your enemy, you have to work with your enemy. Then he becomes your partner.” – Nelson Mandela
Inspirational quotes by Nelson Mandela
51. “A winner is a dreamer who never gives up.”― Nelson Mandela
52. “There are few misfortunes in this world that you cannot turn into a personal triumph if you have the iron will and the necessary skill.”― Nelson Mandela
53. “Live life as though nobody is watching, and express yourself as though everyone is listening.”― Nelson Mandela
54. “Your victory has demonstrated that no person anywhere in the world should not dare to dream of wanting to change the world for a better place.”― Nelson Mandela
55. “Know your enemy — and learn about his favorite sport.”― Nelson Mandela
56. “It is most unusual to return to a place that has changed in ways you yourself have altered.”― Nelson Mandela
57. “I have never cared very much for personal prizes. A person does not become a freedom fighter in the hope of winning awards.”― Nelson Mandela
58. “It is said that no one truly knows a nation until one has been inside its jails.”― Nelson Mandela
59. “Once a person is determined to help themselves, there is nothing that can stop them.”― Nelson Mandela
60. “Let your courage rise with danger.”― Nelson Mandela
More quotes by Nelson Mandela
61. “Resentment is like drinking poison and then hoping it will kill your enemies.” – Nelson Mandela
62. “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.” – Nelson Mandela
63. “As I walked out the door toward the gate that would lead to my freedom, I knew if I didn’t leave my bitterness and hatred behind, I’d still be in prison.” – Nelson Mandela
64. “A Nation should not be judged by how it treats its highest citizens, but its lowest ones.” – Nelson Mandela
65. “Freedom is indivisible; the chains on any one of my people were the chains on all of them, the chains on all of my people were the chains on me.” – Nelson Mandela
66. “We know too well that our freedom is incomplete without the freedom of the Palestinians.” – Nelson Mandela
67. “There is no such thing as part freedom.” – Nelson Mandela
68. “When the women begin to take an active part in the struggle, no power on earth can stop us from achieving freedom in our lifetime.” – Nelson Mandela
69. “If I preached unity, I must act like a unifier, even at the risk of perhaps alienating some of my own colleagues.” – Nelson Mandela
70. “It never hurts to see the good in someone, they often act the better because of it.” – Nelson Mandela
Which of these quotes by Nelson Mandela touched you most and why?
At a young age, Rolihlahla Mandela already dreamed about helping to end the struggles of his people. His ultimate goal was equal opportunities for everyone.
He was a man not only of big aspirations, but also of wisdom, hope, and leadership.
Through this selection of the best quotes by Nelson Mandela, you would hopefully find your strength to get up and rise from your predicaments.
May 13, 2022 5:00 AM EST