A poem by William Ernest Henley
Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the Pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.
In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed.
Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the Horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
Finds, and shall find me, unafraid.
It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul.
A poem by Amanda Bradley
Follow your dream.
Take one step at a time and don’t settle for less,
Just continue to climb.
If you stumble,don’t stop and lose sight of your goal
Press to the top.
For only on top can we see the whole view,
Can we see what we’ve done and what we can do;
Can we then have the vision to seek something new,
Follow you dream.
Nelson Mandela, a Nobel Peace Prize winner, true son of the soil and father of a nation passed away Thursday, December 5, 2013 at age 95. He has been described as a man who exemplified service before self, love for humanity, humility, and reconciliation.
He has been hailed by US President Barrack Obama as “an example that all humanity should aspire to”.
Here is a list of but 30 quotes that represent the values Nelson Mandela believed in, stood and lived for and hoped to see in others;
1.”A good head and a good heart are always a formidable combination.”
2. “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.”
3. “There are times when a leader must move out ahead of the flock, go off in a new direction, confident that he is leading his people the right way.”
4.”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.”
5.“There is nothing I fear more than waking up without a program that will help me bring a little happiness to those with no resources, those who are poor, illiterate, and ridden with terminal disease.”
6.”It always seems impossible until it’s done.”
7. “Our single most important challenge is therefore to help establish a social order in which the freedom of the individual will truly mean the freedom of the individual.”
8.“There are many people who feel that it is useless and futile to continue talking about non-violence against a government whose only reply is savage attacks on an unarmed and defenseless people.”
9.“Where globalization means, as it so often does, that the rich and powerful now have new means to further enrich and empower themselves at the cost of the poorer and weaker, we have a responsibility to protest in the name of universal freedom.”
10. “We can’t afford to be killing one another.”
11.”Racism is a blight on the human conscience. The idea that any people can be inferior to another, to the point where those who consider themselves superior define and treat the rest as sub-human, denies the humanity even of those who elevate themselves to the status of gods.”
12.“Any man or institution that tries to rob me of my dignity will lose.”
13. “No country can really develop unless its citizens are educated.”
14.“Unlike some politicians, I can admit to a mistake.”
15. “Only free men can negotiate; prisoners cannot enter into contracts. Your freedom and mine cannot be separated.”
16. “Our human compassion binds us the one to the other-not in pity or patronizingly, but as human beings who have learnt how to turn our common suffering into hope for the future.”
17. “Resentment is like drinking poison and then hoping it will kill your enemies.”
18.”We understand it still that there is no easy road to freedom. We know it well that none of us acting alone can achieve success. We must therefore act together as a united people, for national reconciliation, for nation building, for the birth of a new world. Let there be justice for all. Let there be peace for all. Let there be work, bread, water and salt for all. Never, never and never again shall it be that this beautiful land will again experience the oppression of one by another and suffer the indignity of being the skunk of the world. Let freedom reign.”
19. “Everyone can rise above their circumstances and achieve success if they are dedicated to and passionate about what they do.”
20. “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.”
21. “Do not judge me by my successes, judge me by how many times I fell down and got back up again.”
22. “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.”
23. “As the years progress one increasingly realizes the importance of friendship and human solidarity. And if a 90-year-old may offer some unsolicited advice on this occasion, it would be that you, irrespective of your age, should place human solidarity, the concern for the other, at the centre of the values by which you live.”
24. “Overcoming poverty is not a gesture of charity. It is an act of justice. It is the protection of a fundamental human right, the right to dignity and a decent life. While poverty persists, there is no true freedom.”
25. “There is no passion to be found in playing small-in settling for a life that is less than the one you are capable of living.”
26. “After climbing a great hill, one only finds that there are many more hills to climb.”
27. “There can be no keener revelation of a society’s soul than the way in which it treats its children.”
28. “Money won’t create success, the freedom to make it will.”
29. “We must use time wisely and forever realize that the time is always ripe to do right.”
30.“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 can reach the mountaintop of our desires.”
Every person has a weaker foot (at least the ones I have met). Each one of us has disturbing flaws and weaknesses. Here are some tips for anyone who would like to deal with their weaknesses and flaws.
1.Know what Your Weaknesses Are
The first step in dealing with your weaknesses is to know what they are. Take a hard look at yourself and come clean. If you don’t know what you are up against you won’t know how to deal with it.
In military, before launching an offensive there is an advance party that is sent to spy on the enemy. The job of the advance party is to establish the strength (number of troops and weaponry) of the enemy and then devise a plan of action based on the enemy strength, terrain and so on…Am I digressing?
The point here is that you must do a comprehensive and honesty search of all the drawers of your life and lay your flaws bare.
Just to get you started here is a list of some common human weaknesses;
- Short temper
- Time mismanagement
2. Admit It
Lets face it, admitting your weaknesses is one of the hardest things to do. Many people prefer to simply brush the discussion under the carpet. Since you are reading this I believe you are not one those people. If you can’t admit that you have flaws there is no way you can deal with them.
Admitting your flaws does not mean that you make a list of them and publish it on your website. It means telling yourself that you know what your weaknesses are and that you are willing to work on improving.
3. Make a Commitment
Make a commitment to change, to yourself and to your accountability group. An accountability group may not be a group after all. These could be two or three individuals that you have given permission to speak the truth `in your face`. Let them know what you are working on and ask them to give feedback every now and then.
4.Keep Evaluating Your Progress
The only way to know if you are making progress is to keep checking. Ask your accountability friend to rate your progress. Don’t get discouraged by slow progress. If you keep making slow progress over time, it will culminate into something big.
Also, check to see if you need to change the strategy.Make adjustments as may be necessary.
5.Keep on Keeping On
You may be doing fine, but don’t stop there. A human being must always strive for a higher level of excellence.
Become the best version of yourself.
There is told a story of a man who owned a huge tract of land in the countryside. One day he woke up to the news that gold was being discovered in a neighboring country. Hurriedly, he sold his farm and left in search of gold. He spent all his money on explorations. But he found no gold.
The money finished. The dream of owning a gold mine was dashed. But he was still a family man; he needed to pay the bills and put a roof over the heads of his family members.
He found a job in one of the gold mining companies as a driver. One day as he made a delivery he met the man who bought his land. The man was selling gold. The difference is, he was not a delivery man. This was his gold! The piece of land he sold for a song was a gold mine.
This man went looking for a mine which was under his feet the whole time. How many times in life do we embark on a journey to look for opportunities? What we need is to look at what we have, both within and without. Granted, there is nothing wrong with going for greener pastures. Just make sure that those pastures are indeed ‘greener’ than what you are stepping on right now.
Is it not strange that people admire our inner strength and yet we ourselves are completely oblivious to its existence? .
The opportunities you need are in your hand. If you spare a moment to look, you will find they are plentiful indeed.
The gold mine is under your feet.