15 Lessons on Life, Love and Courage from Mandela

Out of the night that covers me,

Black as the pit from pole to pole,

I thank whatever gods may be

For my unconquerable soul.


In the fell clutch of circumstance

I have not winced nor cried aloud.

Under the bludgeoning’s of chance

My head is bloody, but unbowed.


Beyond this place of wrath and tears

Looms but the Horror of the shade,

And yet the menace of the years

Finds and shall find me unafraid.


It matters not how strait the gate,

How charged with punishments the scroll,

I am the master of my fate,

I am the captain of my soul.


– Invictus – William Ernest Henley –


Rolihlahla, or Madiba, is the man who captured my attention over several years. A man who, despite all the worst stiffness, forgo of revenge and with his demure personality, decided boldly to fulfill his overarching goal:


Put an end to the Social Injustice the white people (Afrikaner) had against the black people and unite the nation in a one country where Democracy guarantees equal rights to everybody


The reason I’m trying to find the best words to talk about this hero is because I want you all to understand what the word DEMOCRACY means. I want you to know what a single man needed to endure and sacrifice in order to try to make his country understand that Democracy has to be a foundation of a country’s Constitution.

4 years have passed since he left the world. Nelson (first name given by his first teacher, Miss Mdingane) Mandela, the prisoner 46664, led his country towards a harmonious coexistence, thanks to his late-in-life feature:

Winning people’s hearts


 Exactly. Winning people’s hearts was the key towards freedom from apartheid and the end of the social injustice era. Thanks to the sacrifices of this man and the support of others activists, the country finally found its fair identity.

Reading the tough journey towards the now-a-days South Africa, it is hard to accept that it took one man’s actions to bring emancipation to the black population.

Every single action requires sacrifices. Sacrifices that Mandela paid with 27 years of imprisonment.

Mandela’s Way: Lessons on Life, Love, and Courage By Richard Stengel, gave me a great inspiration for the future:

 Courage is not the absence of fear



N.M: Courage is an everyday activity, and we can display it in ways large and small. Don’t be ever afraid to say you are afraid! Pretend to be brave and you not only become brave, you are brave!


Be measured


N.M: Control is the measure of a leader. The people want to see how you handle situations. They want things explained to them clearly and rationally. Be measured!


Lead from the front


N.M: Leading from the front is admitting you have been wrong – even when no one else is accusing you of being wrong.


Lead from the back


N.M: Ubuntu – People are empowered by other people. We become our best selves through unselfish interaction with others.


Look the part


N.M: The best way to help others see your character is by how you appear. Images have tremendous power to shape how we are perceived.


Have a core principle


N.M: All principles are not created equal. You have to weigh the relative advantages.


See the good in others


N.M: See everyone as virtuous until proven otherwise. Seek the positive and the constructive. Seeing the good in others might make them better.


Know your enemy


N.M: Don’t address their brains. Address their hearts. Let always your enemy save his face because you will have made your enemy your friend.


Keep your rivals close


N.M: Keeping them close, under your wing, will make them think twice before going against you.


Know when to say no


N.M: Don’t be a person of maybes! Don’t worry about being unpleasant. Do it right away and clearly: No! You will avoid a heap of trouble in the long run.


It’s a long game


N.M: If you want to win, then play a long game. Rapidity is not what makes one bold. A rushed, short-term mistake might have long-term consequences.


 Love makes the difference


N.M: When you love somebody you don’t see his faults. The love is everything. Don’t pay attention to the things others may find wrong with him. Just love him!


Quitting is leading too


N.M: Yielding can be a kind of victory too – surrendering means that you are going over to the winning side. Then you too can claim victory.


It’s always both


N.M: Every problem has many causes, not just one. Even if we remain wedded to our point of view, it requires us to put ourselves in the shoes of those with whom we disagree. It requires empathy and imagination. The reward is something that can fairly be described as wisdom.


Find your own garden


N.M: Each of us needs something away from the world that gives us pleasure and satisfaction, a place apart. We have to find our own garden.


These are Mandela’s tips to the World. He hopes the future will be a World without the necessity of paying high prices for freedom, social equality, and peace.

I read an amazing book, I learned amazing truths and I gained important insights into how to be a better person. I highly recommend it to you.

Thank you prisoner 46664!

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