Number Seventeen - June 2006

Greetings, friends, from Johannesburg

I am here to prepare for my debut South African concert in Sun City June 24th. After spending time in Soweto today, I am so moved to be in the place where great courage in the fight for emancipation and human rights took place.

The end of Apartheid could not have occurred without the unity, sacrifice and extraordinary spirit of its people. And its people may not have been unified to achieve such an accomplishment without the vision and leadership of Nelson Mandela. Here are some of his words for contemplation and inspiration:

A good head and a good heart are always a formidable combination.

If you want to make peace with your enemy, you have to work with your enemy. Then he becomes your partner.

It is better to lead from behind and to put others in front, especially when you celebrate victory when nice things occur. You take the front line when there is danger. Then people will appreciate your leadership.

Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.

During my lifetime I have dedicated myself to this struggle of the African people, I have fought against white domination, and I have fought against black domination. I have cherished the ideal of a democratic and free society in which all persons live together in harmony and with equal opportunities. It is an ideal which I hope to live for and to achieve. But if it needs be it is an ideal for which I am prepared to die.

As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.

As I have said, the first thing is to be honest with yourself. You can never have an impact on society if you have not changed yourself... Great peacemakers are all people of integrity, of honesty, but humility.

After climbing a great hill, one only finds that there are many more hills to climb.

If there are dreams about a beautiful South Africa, there are also roads that lead to their goal. Two of these roads could be named Goodness and Forgiveness.

If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head. If you talk to him in his language, that goes to his heart.

There is nothing like returning to a place that remains unchanged to find the ways in which you yourself have altered.

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.

If the United States of America or Britain is having elections, they don't ask for observers from Africa or from Asia. But when we have elections, they want observers.

In my country we go to prison first and then become President.

Let freedom reign. The sun never set on so glorious a human achievement.

Money won't create success, the freedom to make it will.

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

There can be no keener revelation of a society's soul than the way in which it treats its children.

There is no easy walk to freedom anywhere, and many of us will have to pass through the valley of the shadow of death again and again before we reach the mountaintop of our desires.

We must use time wisely and forever realize that the time is always ripe to do right.