This weekend’s events in Virginia left me speechless.
Watching the hatred, the racism, the bigotry unfold was painful.
Though there has been much progress, there is still much work to do. We must never stop fighting for what’s right. And, though I’m at a loss for words, we cannot remain silent in the face of evil.
So, I thought to share a few quotes on racism, bigotry, and intolerance in the hopes that it would inspire us all to reflect and move forward. I still believe the best days are ahead, that Martin Luther King’s dream will indeed be a reality, and that our commonalities will prevail over our differences. My thoughts and prayers are with the families of those who were tragically injured and killed during the shameful events in Charlottesville.
“What a sad era when it is easier to smash an atom than a prejudice.” –Albert Einstein
“No one is born hating another person because of the colour of his skin, or his background or his religion. People learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love, for love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite.” –Nelson Mandela
“Racism is man’s gravest threat to man – the maximum of hatred for a minimum of reason.” –Abraham Joshua Heschel
Words have remarkable power. Choosing to fill your life with positive, inspirational words is like fueling the engine of your mind. I believe that our circumstances can change based on what words we read, hear, and speak. That’s why in every blog post I try to pull out quotes that will spur new thoughts and actions.
Share a few of your favorites or stop by anytime to add one to your social media streams. You never know when a few words will be just the fuel someone needs.
“Success is something you attract by the person you become.” –Jim Rohn
Today it is most famous as the place where Nelson Mandela spent 18 years of his 27 years in prison. As a student of great leaders and an admirer of Nelson Mandela’s leadership, I knew that this visit was a must.
A Moving Experience
After a brief ferry ride, we boarded a bus to tour Robben Island.
One of the stops was at the limestone quarry where prisoners toiled in the hot sun. The work damaged Nelson Mandela’s lungs and also his eyes. His tear ducts were damaged, preventing him from ever crying again.
Visible in the background is a cave. This cave was used as a bathroom and the guards almost never approached it. Our tour guide explained that the cave became a great place of learning and exchanging information. Some say it held the most important political meetings of the time.
We later drove to the prison where we met our prison tour guide, Ntando Mbatha. Ntando was a prisoner for seven years at Robben Island. His story was moving. Hearing him explain the conditions of the prison first hand will be forever etched in my mind.
I followed him to the cell of Nelson Mandela. It was small, roughly 7×9. A thin mat lay in the corner. It was stark. There was an unmistakable feeling I cannot quite explain throughout the entire cellblock.
That day, I learned more about the many heroes who fought against apartheid. Some beaten. Some killed.
Seeing this all in person increased my admiration for Nelson Mandela.
“As I walked out the door toward the gate that would lead to my freedom, I knew if I didn’t leave my bitterness and hatred behind, I’d still be in prison.” –Nelson Mandela