Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Mandela inspired me

Last week the world lost a truly great man—Nelson Mandela. He was an amazing example of forgiveness, wisdom and grace—able to move beyond his own suffering to consider what was needed for the greater good.

Although he is known for many quotes of wisdom (just Google "Mandela quotes" and see what pops up!), two stand out for me at the moment. They are : "I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it" and "The greatest glory in living lies not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall."

Both of those speak to me of the fears I often have of moving forward, moving outside my comfort zone and fears of failure. Perhaps you've never had those fears. I surely have. And still do at times.

What I'm learning is that people of courage DO feel fear. They simply face it down (tough as that can be at times)—and then move on to do what they feared to do. Feel the fear and do it anyway. And I'm learning that life isn't about perfection; it's about progress. So when I fall, I just rise again and keep on going. It's not about never falling. It's about learning from the falls and getting back up again.

People such as Nelson Mandela inspire me. After all he suffered, if he could face down his fears, if he could rise up after falling (and after years of imprisonment), surely I can do so too.

What Mandela quotes speak to you today? Who inspires you today?

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