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11 Lessons from Nelson Mandela

7. Share with others. Mandela has shared his life in books and through post retirement charity organizations that work on ills affecting the world today.

8. Lead from the front. When the Springboks South Africa rugby team won the 1995 world cup, Nelson Mandela presented the winnerís trophy to the Captain Francois Pienaar while wearing a replica of Pienaar’s no. 6 Springboks t-shirt. This was a symbol that served to further heal the very tangible racial tension in South Africa.

9. Let go. Nelson Mandela became President in 1994, and in 1999 chose not to run for a second term, even though he likely could have won by a landslide. He instead handed over power to Thabo Mbeki.

10. Smile. Mandela is known for his big smile when meeting with people all over the world.

11. Serve humbly. Graca Machel once said, “I found this simple man,” as she described him in 1998 just before they were married. Indeed his actions of “letting go” of a presidency, of forgiving his captors, serving tea to his guests, and many more are testament to the humility and personable nature of Nelson Mandela.

If applied, these lessons would make the world a better place and for that may God bless Mandela and give him many more years to live and inspire us.

Read more: Global Healing, Inspiration, Make a Difference, News & Issues, Spirit

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Megan, selected from The Intelligent Optimist

Ode, the magazine for Intelligent Optimists, is an international independent journal that publishes positive news, about the people and ideas that are changing our world for the better.


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9:18AM PST on Jan 15, 2014

Nelson Mandela lives on, long after his death to inspire others. He will be missed by so many.

7:04AM PST on Dec 9, 2012

A great man.

6:10PM PDT on May 14, 2012


3:18PM PDT on Mar 30, 2012

Nelson mandela is one of the greats he is up there with Gandhi, martin Luther king, Dalai Lama,

5:00AM PST on Jan 31, 2012

Thanks for the article.

2:48PM PDT on Aug 17, 2011

What a truly inspiring, wise man.......

1:22AM PDT on Aug 9, 2011

Very interesting! President Mandela is a living legend.

6:42AM PDT on Aug 4, 2011

A real example to follow! Thanks for sharing.

6:41AM PDT on Jul 28, 2011

I would have a lot of things to say about how inspired I have felt, all my life, from Mr Mandela's actions and words, and it would take pages. So, I have to sum it up with: thank you, Nelson Mandela!

5:24AM PDT on Jul 28, 2011


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