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Nelson Mandela passed away yesterday at the age of 95, and his death is being mourned around the world.  Nelson Mandela is most known for bringing an end to apartheid in South Africa by leading non-violent resistance to the racist policies and being imprisoned for 27 years because he was standing up for what he knew was right.  After taking down the system that oppressed South Africans for many years, Mandela went on to become the country’s first black President, and reformed South Africa, finally creating equality for black people, and allowing them to again be able to rule over themselves.

Mandela was and will always be a true inspiration for people fighting for equality all over the world.  He endured so much to end the suffering and is an icon for movements against racial oppression.  All around, Mandela was a great human being, and an example of a genuinely good role model.  At this time of year, with holidays and much dreaded finals, it can be easy to get wrapped up in your busy life, and forget about the big picture.  Here are 5 of Mandela’s most inspirational quotes that will help you put things in perspective and be the motivation you need to power through your finals.

1. “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.”

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Mandela knew how important is was to have an education, and even continued to work on his degrees while he was working on the apartheid resistance and while he was imprisoned. School may seem pointless as times, but it is important to remember that being educated about the problems of the world and having the skills to combat them is how the next generation can bring about change.

2. “The greatest glory in living lies not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall.”

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Failing that one final probably won’t make too big of a difference in the long run, it is important to be able to bounce back and keep moving forward, even if you are really upset by not doing well on something.

3. “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.”

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I think this is something a lot of people tend to forget.  It is ok to be afraid of something, like how things will turn out in the future, or bombing all your tests, but you can’t let those fears stop you from trying.

4. “Action without vision is only passing time, vision without action is merely daydreaming, but vision with action can change the world.”

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This is also important for people in our generation to remember, especially with the rise of social media activism.  It is one thing to talk about how you are going to change something, but that doesn’t mean anything unless you actually do it.

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

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I think this one really just speaks for itself.

How has Nelson Mandela inspired you?

Featured Photo by Gareth Davies/Getty Images