The week that was series, normally published on Saturdays, comes one day earlier of its' schedule to honor the legacy of Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela, who transitioned on Thursday, December 5th, 2013. Many have never met him in person, myself included, but here are a few things he's been known to us as - he emerged from prison after 27 years to lead his country out of decades of apartheid. An anti-apartheid icon, a leader, a prisoner turned president, a father of modern day Africa, a freedom fighter, a general, a trailblazer, a trendsetter, a statesman, a patriarch, and a symbol of South Africa's struggle against racial oppression, Mandela's priceless legacy is sure to live on for decades to come.
He's been known to preach messages of forgiveness, rather than vengeance and he certainly inspired the world after he successfully negotiated a peaceful end to segregation and urged forgiveness for the white government that imprisoned him.
Today, the words from South African President Jacob Zuma sums up best what many who are loss for words at this time would say: "Our nation have lost its greatest son. Our people have lost a father...What made Nelson Mandela great was precisely what made him human. We saw in him what we seek in ourselves."
Here now are 25 inspiring quotes from Nelson Mandela
1.) "As I walked out the door toward the gate that would lead to freedom, I knew if I didn't leave my bitterness and hatred behind, I'd still be in prison." (said after he was freed from prison in 1990)
2.) "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."
See also: In honor of Nelson Mandela International Day
4.) "If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head. If you talk to him in his language, that goes to his heart."
5.) "Only free men can negotiate. Prisoners cannot enter into contracts. Your freedom and mine cannot be separated."
6.) "There is no easy walk to freedom anywhere, and many of us will have to walk through the valley of the shadow of death again and again before we reach the mountaintop of our desires."
7.) "There can be no keener revelation of a society's soul than the way in which it treats its children."
8.) "Out of the experience of extraordinary human disaster that lasted too long, must be born a society of which all humanity will be proud.."
9.) "It is time for the next generations to continue our struggle against social injustice and for the rights of humanity. It is in your hands."
Related post: See also the 50 most inspiring pictures from Nelson Mandela's life
11.) "We can change the world and make it a better place. It is in your hands to make a difference."
12.) "We must use time wisely and forever realize that time is always ripe to do right."
13.) "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."
14.) "We understand it still that there is no easy road to freedom. We know it well that none of us acting alone can achieve success. We must therefore act together as a united people, for national reconciliation, for nation building, for the birth of a new world."
15.) "To deny people of their human rights is to challenge their very humanity. To impose on them a wretched life of huger and deprivation is to dehumanize them. But such has been the terrible fate of all black persons in our country under the system of apartheid."
16.) "After climbing a great hill, one only finds that there are many more hills to climb."
17.) "As we let our own light shine, we consciously give other people permission to do the same."
18.) "I came to accept that I have no right whatsoever to judge others in terms of my own customs, however much I may be proud of such customs."
19.) "Only armchair politicians are immune from committing mistakes. Errors are inherent in political action."
20.) "Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world."
See also: A chronology of Nelson Mandela's life
21.) "A good head and good heart are always a formidable combination. But when you add to that a literate tongue or pen, then you have something special."
22.) "Lead from the back - and let others believe they are in front."
23.) "Do not judge me by my successes, judge me by how many times I fell down and got back up again."
24.) "One of the things that I learned when I was negotiating was that until I changed myself, I could not change others."
25.) "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."
EMB salutes Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela. We express our condolences to his family, friends, supporters and well wishers as they mourn his loss and we pray God give them comfort and strength in this time and the days ahead.