This week, we have all remembered Nelson Mandela by sharing his inspirational quotes with each other through social media. Many of these quotes are short and simple, but contain powerful truths. He spoke of the wonderful things he believed we could achieve – freedom, equality, justice, prosperity – and how he believed we could achieve it – cooperation, collaboration, self development, love.
Nelson Mandela was a believer in the power of community – and the amazing gifts it has to offer each and every one of us.
I put together a quote “mashup” tribute if you will, of what Nelson Mandela had to say about community and change. The words in italics are his, the rest are mine.
Want to change the world? Start with yourself. You are connected to everyone else, so having your heart, head, and soul in the right place will amplify your effectiveness.
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 also humility.
One of the things I learned when I was negotiating was that until I changed myself, I could not change others.
As we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.
Are you going to enrich yourself in order to enable the community around you to be able to improve? more »
Even the richest local asset will sit dormant and under-utilized without the innovation, creativity, passion, and engagement of community citizens. The experiences and talents of your neighbors are essential ingredients to economic success. When these forces are activated in a cooperative and focused way, small, individual actions can translate into big change.
The development and activation of local human assets can be a challenge. Many people have gotten discouraged by the scale of the work that needs to be done and don’t see how they can possibly change things. They don’t see themselves as the “big leader” who they feel needs to step in and take charge to make things better. They may not have had role models in their life to show them how to participate and teach them that what they have to offer the community is essential to progress.
My granddaughter Cambria is almost six months old. She is at the developmental stage where she is discovering herself. One week her fascination is about her feet, and she pounds them constantly. The next week she discovers her tongue and she sticks it out non-stop, wagging it around.
Now she is finding that she has a voice. She is learning that she can make her voice loud and soft. She runs her voice up and down the scale and marvels at the different notes and tones she can create.
And she is learning that she can use her voice to get attention. Certain sounds draw reactions from other people – sometimes laughter, sometimes sympathy – always attention. She is discovering the power she has with her voice, and learning to use it to get things done.
This is a lesson we never stop learning. Your voice is a powerful tool, not only for your own self-preservation but also for taking care of others. You use your voice to teach, to learn, to defend, to promote – it is impossible to be in community without speaking up and speaking out. more »