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Nelson Mandela was often misunderstood, mis-characterized, and sometimes controversial.  The one thing that rings clear, however, above all the smoke is that his message and his motives were pure, honorable, and always above reproach.

Difficulties break some men but make others. No axe is sharp enough to cut the soul of a sinner who keeps on trying, one armed with the hope that he will rise even in the end.”

“It always seems impossible until it’s done.”

“Real leaders must be ready to sacrifice all for the freedom of their people.”

“A fundamental concern for others in our individual and community lives would go a long way in making the world the better place we so passionately dreamt of.”

“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.”

“Resentment is like drinking poison and then hoping it will kill your enemies.

One friend of mine responds, “but he was a communist” (for the record, he was a Democratic Socialist).   My response is, if holding justice and equality in high regard, if caring more about others than you care about yourself, if being willing to sacrifice your own freedom and quality of life so that others might have greater freedom and a higher quality of life — if these are the earmarks of communism, then I say the world needs more of this brand of communism.

Nelson Mandela was not just a good man, he was a great man.  Let him be remembered for his words and actions and not for the arbitrary labels that others may try to attach to him.

Rest in peace, Mr. Mandela.  You will always be remembered for the unselfish way in which you gave your life for your countrymen.  Thank you for sharing your life and your gift with the world.  You were truly beautiful.

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Source:  Mandela quotes via USA Today

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