Happy Nelson Mandela Day! Today, 18 July, we commemorate Madiba’s birthday. We celebrate his legacy, and we are inspired to bring about real, positive change in the world.
Just one year before the UN General Assembly announced Nelson Mandela International Day in 2009, Mandela called for the new generation to take the baton and fight for social change and equality, with the following words: “It is in your hands now”. [Source] And is it ever. More than 20 years after South Africa achieved democratic freedom, there is still so much work to be done. Where do we start?
Mandela Day every day
The simple idea behind Mandela Day is that we can all make a difference. Not only on Mandela Day once a year, but every day. South Africans have the great honour and huge responsibility of having one of the most iconic role models of all time. Given this extraordinary example, every day should be Mandela Day.
Mandela Day can mean different things for different people. Every individual’s contribution to creating a better world will be different and will play a unique role in improving their community, their country, and the world. So start thinking about your contribution today and ask yourself: What does Nelson Mandela inspire me to do?
67 minutes for 67 years
Today, we will devote one minute for every year that Nelson Mandela fought for human rights, equality, and reconciliation. For 67 minutes, we will be moved to action by the values of this man, remembering his leadership in the struggle for democracy. We will each engage in our own activity of upliftment according to our talents, passions, and skills.
Your activity is up to you. But if you’re struggling to think of something, here is a list of ideas to help inspire your 67 minutes:
- Musician? Play an hour of music at your local old age home.
- Handyman? Offer your services at an under-resourced school in your community.
- Teacher? Teach or mentor someone who could not or cannot afford an education.
- Nature-lover? Help clean up the litter in your neighbourhood.
- Bookworm? Read a children’s story for the kids at an orphanage.
- Regular consumer? Put together a winter care package (blanket, jacket, shoes, and socks) and give it to someone in need.
Four unforgettable Nelson Mandela quotes
“Sometimes it falls upon a generation to be great, you can be that generation.”
“For to be free is not merely to cast off one’s chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others.”
“I have cherished the ideal of a democratic and free society in which all persons will live together in harmony with equal opportunities. It is an ideal which I hope to live for, and to see realised. But my Lord, if needs be, it is an ideal for which I am prepared to die.”
“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.”
Need more inspirational quotes?
For more great quotes from incredible visionaries, entertainers, and leaders, you can read the following blog post: 10 Great Speeches Given to Students by Actors, Artists, and World Leaders.