Like the great Nelson Mandela, don’t ever give up

Former president Nelson Mandela.

Former president Nelson Mandela.

Published Apr 2, 2023



Living in this beautiful country is a proud place to call home.

This article relates to the true story of Nelson Mandela who faced many struggles and will serve to inspire readers.

He believed that strength would triumph over struggle and he refused to be defeated on his journey to freedom. He has taught the world to never give up, turning his nation’s struggles into a global phenomenon and millions of people followed. We can agree that a powerful lesson is shown only if we find this powerful belief in ourselves – he has taken this belief to heart and with it shaped the world around him.

His story began with his mission while growing up in a small African village. Studies show ‘Ubuntu,’ is a word that captures the greatest gift from Mandela – living in togetherness where there is unity to all individuals, and conflict is considered temporary while sharing and caring for others.

For all of us, knowing that we are in this struggle together is something incredible. Ubuntu has since served as a reminder of how to treat and respect others. Our ancestors have given us a magnificent gift, ‘life’. Are we using our gifts wisely?

Our purpose in life should be to work with diverse individuals, leaving behind special memories. Ubuntu indicates that we are all connected and that we can grow and progress through each other’s growth and progression. Taking care of each other plays an important role in the success for humanity. I suppose that part of the gift of life is the ability to gift others in this country.

Finding your passion is not a question of career and money, it’s finding your true self – knowing yourself is the start of all wisdom. Ubuntu is a fight for the common good. During Mandela’s 27 years in prison, his thinking consisted in finding meaning and purpose in life while coping with the most grievous suffering.

New research shows that the majority of individuals confronted with struggles quit, believing that life has beaten them. Yet Mandela’s positive thinking gave him the opportunity to turn around this struggle by holding onto his belief – his childhood mission – and chose forgiveness. He was willing to fight and die for the principles he cherished so dearly. His positive contribution to the world reflects his commitment, sacrifice, bravery and courage.

Mandela won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1993. We recognise him as being our positive role model. He embodies the highest values and demonstrates outstanding leadership qualities, a powerful presence, positive thinking and achieved missions beyond himself – remarkable! He became the first black president of South Africa, bringing peace to a racially divided country, leading the fight for human rights worldwide – an icon for democracy and social justice!

His courage is inspirational and his story is heart-breaking, but he did not end the struggle alone. Many individuals came together in the struggle for freedom – he was fighting for a better world. Those who succeed have the courage to admit that they cannot do it alone.

One thing that is clearer to me every day is how much we all have in common, yet we all think we are alone. Today, we should embrace the positive side of life and accept that none of us is as smart as all of us. If you dream alone, there is a huge possibility that the dream will stay a dream, but if you dream together, this will become a definite reality.

It is not a question of our weaknesses or strengths, but it is about our togetherness where there is power. Use your gifts with your unique talents and abilities for a better country. I believe that each individual is capable of improving some part of the human experience. It would be incredible to see this country working together as a united nation.

Changing your mindset changes the situation. For us to move forward, studies indicate, a change in mindset is required. Every individual in the country needs to respond to the call initiated by Mandela. “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.” Education has become the passport to the future.

History must become the foundation upon which we move forward. We must use it to avoid repeating its mistakes – history should always remember its troubled past. Look within yourself and discover your own inner power. It is literally true that you can achieve the best in helping others to achieve success. Never be afraid to be your own self. Be different – unique individuals are those that have changed history.

“The greatest glory in living lies not in never failing, but in rising every time we fall.”

Anolene Thangavelu Pillay is a psychology adviser.

Anolene Thangavelu Pillay is a psychology adviser.

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