Even after his death in 2013, South Africa civil rights hero Nelson Mandela has continued to inspire us.
Nelson Mandela, born on July 18, 1918, and shown here in 2005, was South Africa’s first black president, from 1994 to 1999. He spent 27 years in prison for defying the nation's leadership and its cruel race-based discrimination and emerged in 1990 to continue to fight for the dismantlement of apartheid. He died in 2013 and his quotes continue to inspire us.
"When a man has done what he considers to be his duty to his people and his country, he can rest in peace."
Above: A poster of Nelson Mandela is seen in the crowd during a memorial service for the deceased South African anti-apartheid leader and former President at the FND Stadium in Soweto, South Africa, on Dec. 10, 2013. (Graeme Williams/Action Press/Zuma Press/MCT)
"Real leaders must be ready to sacrifice all for the freedom of their people."
Above: The small Robben Island cell where Nelson Mandela spent most of his 27 years of imprisonment in South Africa, shown here in 2004.
"A fundamental concern for others in our individual and community lives would go a long way in making the world the better place we so passionately dreamt of."
Above: South African President Nelson Mandela waves to the crowd at the end of his speech during a rally at Brits, South Africa, on April 11, 1999. (Anacleto Rapping/Los Angeles Times/MCT)
"Part of being optimistic is keeping one’s head pointed toward the sun, one’s feet moving forward."
Above: Nelson Mandela dances with Coretta Scott King, right, after he was elected president in Johannesburg, South Africa, in 1994. (Jerry Holt/Minneapolis Star Tribune/MCT)
"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."
Above: South African President Nelson Mandela speaks in the U.S. Capitol rotunda as Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich and President Bill Clinton look on Sept. 23, 1998. In a rare display of unity at the time, President Clinton and the Republican-held Congress presented Mandela with a Congressional Gold Medal for ending apartheid and promoting reconciliation in South Africa. (KRT) PL KD (Horiz)
“It always seems impossible until it’s done.”
Above: President George W. Bush, right, meets with former South African leader Nelson Mandela in the Oval Office of the White House on Tuesday, May 17, 2005.
“It is not our diversity which divides us; it is not our ethnicity, or religion or culture that divides us. Since we have achieved our freedom, there can only be one division amongst us: between those who cherish democracy and those who do not.”
Above: Nelson Mandela, right, holds hands with Bishop Desmond Tutu in Cape Town, South Africa, in 1994. (Jerry Holt/Minneapolis Star Tribune/MCT)
“If you want to make peace with your enemy, you have to work with your enemy. Then he becomes your partner.”
Above: South African president Nelson Mandela, right, holds hands with former South African president F.W. de Klerk in Cape Town, South Africa, in 1994. (Jerry Holt/Minneapolis Star Tribune/MCT)
"Our march to freedom is irreversible. We must not allow fear to stand in our way."
Above: Flowers are placed at the foot of a statue of former South African President Nelson Mandela at the South African embassy in Washington, D.C., on Dec. 6, 2013, one day after Mandela's death. (Olivier Douliery/Abaca Press/MCT)
"I am not a saint, unless you think of a saint as a sinner who keeps on trying."
Above: Nelson Mandela meets with President George W. Bush in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, D.C., in this file photo on May 17, 2005. (Chuck Kennedy/MCT)
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