December 10th, 2013

The best minds in the world are writing and speaking about Nelson Mandela this week. This humble hotel can’t pass up the opportunity to pay respect to the man, who blew apart so many ideas of what it’s possible to do with one small lifetime, but nor can we think of adding anything significant to all that’s being said. So, instead, here’s one more place to find Mandela himself speaking to us from, as Obama said, the ages.

• 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.
• 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.
• I came to accept that I have no right whatsoever to judge others in terms of my own customs.
• It is never my custom to use words lightly. If twenty-seven years in prison have done anything to us, it was to use the silence of solitude to make us understand how precious words are and how real speech is in its impact on the way people live and die.
• 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.
• Resentment is like drinking poison and then hoping it will kill your enemies.

May he rest in peace.

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