Love and Leadership: Celebrating the Great Nelson Mandela

People around the world paused to commemorate the incredible life of Nelson Mandela, who died today at age 95. In this video clip from last year, Bill Clinton summed up what he learned from Mandela: “He made everybody else want to be bigger. You were always thinking, ‘Well if he can do all this, if he can endure all this and he could still have a smile on his face and a song in his heart, who am I to whine about whatever is going on in my life?’ He made everybody want to be bigger. I think it’s an uncommon gift that I somehow hope we’ll all find a way to keep alive forever.”

Here are some inspirational thoughts Mandela expressed during his extraordinary life.

“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.”

“After climbing a great hill, one only finds that there are many more hills to climb.”

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

“Lead from the back — and let others believe they are in front.”

“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.”

“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.”