Nelson Mandela Quotes on ForgivnessForgiveness, depending on individual tolerance and level of wrong-doing, comes easier for some than it does for others. However, it is difficult to find a more selfless, modern-day message of forgiveness than that of Nelson Mandela’s life story. After being imprisoned in South Africa for 27 years, simply for his protest of Apartheid, one might expect that he would hold at least a small grudge. But, as he so eloquently said himself, “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’s quotes on forgiveness inspire many people to follow in his footsteps of compassion.

9 Inspiring Nelson Mandela Quotes on Forgiveness

  1. “In my country, we go to prison first and then become President.” – Long Walk to Freedom (1995)
  2. “We must strive to be moved by a generosity of spirit that will enable us to outgrow the hatred and conflicts of the past.” – 1990 Christmas Message
  3. “You will achieve more in this world through acts of mercy than you will through acts of retribution.”
  4. “It never hurts to think too highly of a person; often they become ennobled and act better because of it.”
  5. Resentment is like drinking poison and then hoping it will kill your enemies.”
  6. Forgiveness liberates the soul, it removes fear. That’s why it’s such a powerful weapon.”
  7. “Reconciliation does not mean forgetting or trying to bury the pain of conflict, but that reconciliation means working together to correct the legacy of past injustice.” – From a 1995 speech
  8. “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.” – Written during 27-year imprisonment
  9. “No one is born hating another person because of the color of his skin, or his background, or his religion. They must 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.” – Long Walk to Freedom (1995)

These nine Nelson Mandela quotes on forgiveness help give a better understanding of the power that lies in forgiving. One consistent trend throughout these Nelson Mandela quotes on forgiveness – and in life itself – is that forgiveness provides a sense of freedom. Often, the verbal and physical abuse that discriminators throw at marginalized groups serves as an emotional shackle. Forgiving the wrong-doer and learning from the experience can help lift the internal weight on one’s soul. Mandela emphasizes how forgiveness can be such a respectable and responsible approach to take when dealing with hate and injustice.

– Fatemeh Zahra Yarali
Photo: Flickr



A common reason for conflict, whether cultural, racial or economic is lack of empathy. The solution to this problem may be simpler than previously believed. An article on psychology website Spring suggests that empathy can increase with as little as two positive experiences with a group.

To collect their research, scientists paired Swiss people with people of Balkan descent. The Swiss-Balkan relationship has historically been tense due to anxiety about immigrants in Switzerland. In the experiment, Swiss participants expected to receive a painful electric shock but were rescued by people with traditional Balkan names.

The Swiss participants then received brain scans while observing other people being shocked. If earlier in the experiment a Balkan person had helped the Swiss person in question, the Swiss participant’s brain would demonstrate a similar empathetic response toward both Balkan and Swiss victims. If, however, the Swiss person had not had that positive encounter with a Balkan participant, he or she exhibited lower levels of empathy toward Balkan victims than towards Swiss victims.

According to this study’s researchers, “Our findings show that empathy with an out-group member can be learned and generalizes to other out-group individuals.”

How can these findings be applied globally? Simply put, they may indicate that volunteering can increase empathy. Not only can volunteering help reduce some of the immediate symptoms of global poverty; it can also decrease inter-group tension.

Bridging the gap preventing different groups from interacting with each other is an important step in reducing conflict. Volunteerism does just that by putting human relationships first. It places members of different communities that may never have had positive inter-community encounters in close proximity to each other. Positive volunteering experiences can lead to increased empathy and decreased conflict between them.

In an article by the New Zealand Red Cross, Warwick Armstrong, a volunteer driver for the Cross Town Shuttle wrote about the benefits of volunteering. The Cross Town Shuttle provides transportation for people in Christchurch who have no transportation means of their own. Armstrong said he enjoys the companionship his position provides.

“It’s good for your health!” he wrote. “It gives your empathy batteries a recharge”.

Volunteerism puts human relationships first and encourages personal interaction. It is a powerful tool for increasing empathy, and thus reducing tension, between groups.

Jordan Little

Photo: Flickr

empathy video games
Recently, an increasing number of indie video game developers have been producing games, interactive media and virtual realities that aim to teach people about pressing social issues.

These broadly termed “empathy video games” commonly seek to evoke compassion in the player by creating an experience that provides a detailed look into the trials and tribulations the game’s characters undergo.

These games have covered a broad range of topics such as cancer, gender dysphoria and child abuse, according to The Telegraph.

Lately, a number of empathy video games have sought to raise awareness and understanding for issues related to global issues such as poverty and the refugee crisis. Here are a few examples of empathy video games:


North, by Outland Games, aims to demonstrate the difficulties refugees face when attempting to migrate and integrate into new places. You play as a refugee seeking asylum in a strange city, finding yourself disoriented and confused as you attempt to decipher the customs and codes of those who govern.

“In terms of its design…we worked on a web documentary about European migration policies with a few other journalists from across Europe. We also worked in refugee centers and saw all these people getting lost in endless paperwork and absurd procedures. So we had all this background knowledge and personal attachment to the refugee situation that we wanted to come across in the game,” said Gabriel Helfenstein, one half of the duo that comprises Outlands Games.

The game does not attempt to realistically emulate any of the world’s ongoing refugee crises; rather, it highlights the universal emotions of horror, grief, confusion, frustration and guilt that accompany all refugee situations. This is reflected in its design, which takes on a dark, surreal form.

Project Syria

Project Syria is a virtual reality project that places the user in two separate scenarios: in the midst of a bomb explosion on a busy street in Aleppo and in a refugee camp. The team behind Project Syria conducted extensive research to depict the situations as accurately as possible.

“…we managed to find two handicam videos of the explosion and traced the location to find out exactly where and when it happened,” Vangelis Lympouridis, co-producer of the project, told Motherboard.

“We pulled still frames from the videos, created panoramic shots, and used those to build the Aleppo neighborhood hit by the blast. For the refugee camp, we sent a team to the camp to record the situation. The audio is all real, which really creates a sense of presence.”

Project Syria has been billed as “immersive journalism” for its capacity to put people inside the story. Its creator, Nonny de la Peña, has previously created several other immersive environments to help ordinary people understand the plights of those affected by pressing social problems.

“I want to tell important stories,” de la Peña told The Telegraph. “And I want to do that in a way that brings them to life as much as possible and helps the audience find out about, or better understand, or feel more strongly about, a particular situation. Virtual reality has the unique ability to make you feel present on scene and that in turn generates a very powerful feeling of empathy.”

Cross Dakar City

Cross Dakar City focuses on the issue of child beggars (enfants talibés) in Senegal. The game follows Mamadou, a child beggar who is trying to cross the streets of Dakar in order to find his parents and return home. Mamadou has to avoid fast-moving vehicles, trains, bombs and rivers during the six levels of the game.

This is a widespread problem in Senegal — there were an estimated 50,000 child beggars in the country in 2010, according to Human Rights Watch. The problem arises when poor parents send their male children to Islamic schools to secure a better future for them.

At the schools, Muslim religious leaders sometimes send the young children out to beg on the streets. Though the practice was outlawed in 2005, critics, including the game’s creator, Ousseynou Khadim Bèye, say that the government has done little to enforce the new rules.

In a phone interview with Motherboard, Bèye explained the rationale behind his making of the game. “I wanted to make something that had a positive impact on Senegal and to reach the widest public as possible with this game and highlight the issue of child begging in Senegal. Players have to ensure that Mamadou crosses the streets of Dakar with their iconic local taxis safely. Many child beggars, who are as young as seven, become accident victims; they are also subject to kidnappings and sexual abuse,” he said.

“They also live in terrible conditions, lack access to electricity or water and have very little food,” said Bèye.

Since its release in May 2015, Cross Dakar City has been downloaded 50,000 times. Bèye has plans to make more socially-charged games in the future. “Ultimately, I want to partner with non-profit organizations and make more games on themes like solar energy and deforestation that make people more aware of how these issues are affecting communities in Africa,” he said.

Hazy Days

Mike Ren’s “Hazy Days” is a breathing simulator game that seeks to demonstrate the struggles that China’s high levels of air pollution inflict on its citizens, particularly children.

The player controls Xiao Feng, a little girl about to visit her grandmother for Chinese New Year. The game seeks to replicate her day-to-day experience in a polluted environment.

The player controls her breathing, trying to inhale oxygen molecules and avoid air pollution particles on her walk to school. The goal is to make it through a week without getting sick, so Xiao can visit her grandmother for Chinese New Year.

As the week progresses, more and more air pollution particles build up in Feng’s lungs, illustrating the build-up effect that pollution has. Though it is possible to make it through the week without getting sick, it is a very challenging endeavor.

China’s air pollution problem continues to get worse, despite the widespread media coverage. Air pollution is harmful to everyone, especially children, whose lungs are still developing. Common health problems that develop include asthma, chronic bronchitis, weakening of the immune system and higher rates of cancer. Hundreds of thousands of premature deaths have been linked to air pollution levels.

The emergence of these “empathy video games” points to the expanding efforts to make global issues such as poverty and the refugee crises more well-known in the minds of the general public.

Anton Li

Acrobats of the Road

Traveling the world since 2005, Acrobats of the Road Juan Villarino and Laura Lazzarino have enacted their Educational Nomadic Project in communities all over South America, southern Asia, Europe and the Middle East. The project is dedicated to documenting and spreading world hospitality to help overcome social issues domestic to different regions.

Juan Villarino is a writer and photographer originally from Argentina who has spent the majority of his life traveling the world and writing about the people he has met. Laura is a nomad who spent much of her youth traveling solo through South America, Western Europe and southern Asia. The pair met while abroad, and after traveling for a few years, they decided to team up and start Acrobats of the Road.

For each community the group impacts, Villarino self-publishes a book to inform readers about the importance of hospitality and social justice in rural villages throughout the world. His most recent book, Hitchhiking in the Axis of Evil, was picked up for proper publication and will be distributed internationally. The book follows Villarino’s journey through Iraq, Iran and Afghanistan and his contributions to increasing social justice in communities affected by war.

Acrobats of the Road have traveled to over 60 countries, crossing more than 1,500 borders and travelling over 160,000 kilometers. Throughout their journeys, they have stayed in monasteries, hostels, campgrounds and with locals. These experiences have allowed them to encounter firsthand the generosity that inspired them to create Acrobats of the Road.

For their Educational Nomadic Project, Villarino compiles slideshows of photographs and the pair present lectures and workshops on a variety of topics including the intrinsic goodness of human beings, community involvement and cooperation. In collaboration with the People’s Health Movement, the pair travels with a projector to teach to these communities.

While travelling, the duo has received a lot of love and care from people of many races, religions and backgrounds, and the project focuses on giving back to those who have helped them along the way. The project was started in 2009 and has been used to spread empathy and care. Villarino’s photographs capture the everyday life, kindness and cultures of communities he has encountered while hitchhiking. Acrobats of the Road hopes that with this project, they can promote equality and happiness and show that the world can become a more harmonious place.

Julia Hettiger

Sources: Blogspot, Mangomanjaro, Matador Network

Photo: Acrobatsoftheroad