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NOTES TO THE FUTURE by Nelson Mandela


Words of Wisdom


Pub Date: Nov. 20th, 2012
ISBN: 978-1-4516-7539-9
Publisher: Atria

A stirring collection of quotes from the Nobel Peace Prize winner.

Spanning several decades, this series of quotes from Mandela (Conversations with Myself, 2010, etc.) offers readers a compendium of wisdom reduced to bite-size nuggets. Pulled from personal letters to his wife, conversations with important world leaders, segments of speeches given at various official functions, notes from Long Walk to Freedom and other sources, these quotes give insight into the ever-hopeful mind of Mandela. Regardless of his own struggles, which included nearly three decades in prison, he continued to look upward and outward for his South Africa, believing that in the end, good would prevail. "No one is born hating another person because of the color of his skin, or his background, or his religion,” he writes. “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.” Divided into four segments—struggle, victory, wisdom, and future—the book shows in brief the evolution of thinking this man confronted before, during and after his term in prison and into his "retirement." Although more background information on the man himself would be useful to those not familiar with Mandela's story, the quotes are inspirational and moving, regardless of any prior knowledge. An emotive introduction by Archbishop Desmond Tutu elaborates on the book, as he writes that the quotes are "like a visit with our most eminent global elder, who generously offers his wisdom for all to learn." The full script of Mandela's Nobel acceptance speech from 1993 rounds out this brief yet important look into the mind of a man determined to break apartheid regardless of the personal cost.

Obviously limited in its format, but these motivating quotes bring together the rousing thoughts of a global leader.