Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela – A non-violent activist, philanthropist, politician, and South Africa’s first black president. He had been imprisoned for 25 years and 8 months for his work of trying to get rid of apartheid in South Africa and was called a “terrorist” by the US government. You would think someone that was convicted with a life sentence and spend 27 years for a stupid reason would be annoyed and full of anger, but Nelson Mandela, “Madiba”, came out and tried 10 times harder to achieve the same thing that landed him in jail! He never gave up. He strived to achieve justice for inequality his whole life no matter the consequences. He believed in himself and he believed in the world’s justice system. Through the amazing fight he put up, he was able to achieve greatness; he became the first black president of Africa and with some help, was able to dismantle Africa’s apartheid system.
One of the hardest things to do in life is to maintain a positive attitude about yourself and to feel confident in your abilities especially when things are difficult or stressful. As a high school student myself, I witness this happening almost every single day. With midterms and university applications coming up, so many students doubt themselves (including me!) and worry about getting accepted into their dream university or getting the necessary marks required to go there. Even adults don’t believe in themselves and sell themselves short, for example thinking they’re not good enough for that big promotion at work or worrying they will fail miserably if they start a business. You are so quick to jump to the negatives and focus on why you are destined for failure that sometimes you don’t even give yourself a chance for success. If you, reading this, are one of those individuals with negative thoughts, I have a question for you...
I just finished reading this great classical book by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry called “The Little Prince” and in it I was reminded of a timeless lesson about dreaming big that I had to write about. In the book there is this really interesting character who is a child who dreams big and has great ideas but the grownups discourage him (much like how it often is in real life) and even go so far as labelling him as being “unrealistic” and “foolish”. This made me think – why is dreaming and going against the grain of society considered foolish? When isn’t it the “dreamers” that we ironically all look up to?
Quotes are very powerful. On the surface, they are just a bunch of words but when you ponder over them they reveal powerful ideas that resonate with your very core. I mean someone did "quote" these words for a reason :). Personally, one of the biggest reasons why I love quotes is because of how relatable they can be.