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.
~ Nelson Mandela

Happy Mandela Day – July 18th

Mandela Day, established in 2009, is recognized by the United Nations as a global call to volunteer for good causes for 67 minutes – one minute for every year Mandela spent in active politics.

Nelson Mandela, today age 93, is revered for having ushered in democracy in South Africa and for his personal sacrifices in fighting the apartheid regime. He used his warmth, dignity and self-deprecating humour to help heal racial divisions and opened a process of reconciliation that is a model for all the world.

On his 89th birthday, Mandela announced the formation of a new group, The Elders: “Together we will work to support courage where there is fear, foster agreement where there is conflict, and inspire hope where there is despair.” Together with Graça Machel and Desmond Tutu, he convened a group of world leaders in Johannesburg to contribute their wisdom and independent leadership to address the world’s toughest problems. This group speaks freely and boldly, working both publicly and behind the scenes on whatever actions need to be taken. TO READ MORE:

Mandela has written a number of influential, reflective books, notably Long Walk to Freedom and Conversations with Myself.  Here is small selection of notable quotations from his writings:

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.

There is nothing like returning to a place that remains unchanged
to find the ways in which you yourself have altered.

It always seems impossible until it’s done.

If you want to make peace with your enemy,
you have to work with your enemy.
Then he becomes your partner.

QUOTATIONS ON PEACE by Other Elders

Peace is its own reward.
~ Mohandas Gandhi

If we have no peace,
it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other.
~ Mother Teresa

When you find peace within yourself,
you become the kind of person who can live at peace with others.
~ Peace Pilgrim

It is with our capacity of smiling, breathing, and being peace
that we can make peace.
~ Thich Nhat Hahn

Until next time,

Ellen