What can one say about the loss of one of the most iconic leaders and civil rights pioneers that will effectively capture the magnitude of how great he truly was as a person? As the world reflects on the remarkable life of Nelson Mandela, it is necessary to acknowledge his contributions to humanity as well as the many possible lessons that can be taught through his trials and tribulations. And so, I posed the question: What have you learned from the life of Nelson Mandela?
Marquis Cabrera, 25
Nelson Mandela once said, “Do not judge me by my successes, judge me by how many times I fell down and got back up again.” I learned from Mandela: Champion a vision because success is whimsical. Throughout my short-lived life, I have had some perceived successes, but I still have a burning desire to change the world–to do more. I want to help shape a world where every kid has a chance. Some days have been trying and make me want to retreat into a comfortable life wherein I focus on me and my own. However, I still maintain my vision and have a burning desire to shape a life and build a future. That’s what I will remember most about Mandela: Wake up every morning beaten and bruised, but let nothing stop you from standing up for what you believe.
Khadija Adina, 23
Nelson Mandela taught me perseverance and dedication. His commitment to end apartheid that continued even when imprisoned was an inspiration one could only hope to achieve. It showed me that if you truly believe in something and put the utmost dedication in it, it is very much possible to make a change, and that’s exactly what he did. He didn’t just change South Africa, he changed the world.
Ioana Marinova, 23
Nelson Mandela’s accomplishments reflect the power of the human mind. When our passions are fueled by conviction, we can cross any mental boundaries, which inspire physical change. Mandela’s legacy restores my faith that a positive mindset is the greatest tool for success and ultimately, survival.
Lloyd M. Talley, 24
Brother Mandela’s Life is a legacy of perseverance, courage, and faith. It shows us that in a world that can be as unjust as ours, the struggle for equity is never in vain. Even in what may seem to be our darkest of moments we must see the potential to affect change. Striving through those dark and uncertain moments has the power to change a nation and inspire the world. His life is model for life with a purpose.
Personally, Nelson Mandela’s life has taught me that it is possible to persevere in the face of adversity. His unwavering beliefs allowed him to ignite a movement which ultimately changed the course of history. While it is natural to be sad while mourning the loss of such a beloved figure, we are truly blessed that such an individual ever existed. While Nelson Mandela has been called “the Father of South Africa” his tenacity and dedication to ensuring that we all live in a more equal world has permanently made him a treasure to us all. No words can truly describe or give justice to a man of such valor. For that, all that I can truly say is thank you Nelson Mandela.
What are some lessons that you have learned from the life of Nelson Mandela?