Rest in Peace, Nelson Mandela

Maybe I just need to get new Facebook friends, but I found it pretty disheartening to see the disparity between the social media uproar over Paul Walker’s death compared to the relatively quiet response to Nelson Mandela’s passing. I believe that every life lost deserves remembrance, and Paul Walker’s early death certainly was tragic, but I was surprised that few mourned the loss of such an influential world leader.

Juxtaposition aside, I think it important that we celebrate the life of Nelson Mandela and wish him well in whatever version of the afterlife you believe in. May he forever inspire us to challenge the status quo and stand up for what we believe in. Though he has passed on, his wisdom will continue to influence and inspire. Here are a few of my favorite Nelson Mandela quotes:

“A good head and a good heart are always a formidable combination.”

“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.”

“There is no passion to be found in playing small- in settling for a life that is less than the one you are capable of living.”

“I am fundamentally an optimist. Whether that comes from nature or nurture, I cannot say. Part of being optimistic is keeping one’s head pointed toward the sun, one’s feet moving forward. 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. That way lays defeat and death.”

“It always seems impossible until it is done.”

“No one is born hating another person because of the color 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.”

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

“I like friends who have independent minds because they tend to make you see problems from all angles.”

“Everyone can rise above their circumstances and achieve success if they are dedicated to and passionate about what they do.”

“I learned that courage was 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.”

“If I had my time over I would do the same again. So would any man who dares call himself a man.”

RIP, Nelson Mandela.