Nelson Mandela – A Tribute in Quotes

R.I.P.  Nelson Mandela Born in Mveso on 1918-07-18  Died in Johannesburg on 2013-12-05

R.I.P. Madiba
Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela
Born in Mveso on 1918-07-18
Died in Johannesburg on 2013-12-05


South African anti-apartheid revolutionary, politician and philanthropist who served as President of South Africa from 1994 to 1999.

Nelson Mandela was an important civil rights activist (like – among others – Abraham Lincoln and Martin Luther King Jr.) and a writer.

Becoming actively involved in the anti-apartheid movement in his 20s, Mandela joined the African National Congress in 1942. For 20 years, he directed a campaign of peaceful, non-violent defiance against the South African government and its racist policies. In 1993, Mandela and South African President F.W. de Klerk were jointly awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for their efforts to dismantle the country’s apartheid system. In 1994, Mandela was inaugurated as South Africa’s first black president. In 2009, Mandela’s birthday (July 18) was declared “Mandela Day” to promote global peace and celebrate the South African leader’s legacy.


Nobel Peace Prize, Bharat Ratna, Time’s Person of the Year, Sakharov Prize, Presidential Medal of Freedom, Congressional Gold Medal, Arthur Ashe Courage Award, Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal, Gandhi Peace Prize, Philadelphia Liberty Medal, Jawaharlal Nehru Award for International Understanding, Lenin Peace Prize, Queen Elizabeth II Golden Jubilee Medal, Nishan-e-Pakistan, Al-Gaddafi International Prize for Human Rights, Ambassador of Conscience Award, International Simón Bolívar Prize, United Nations Prize in the Field of Human Rights, Order of the Nile, World Citizenship Award, U Thant Peace Award, Félix Houphouët-Boigny Peace Prize, Isitwalandwe Medal, Indira Gandhi Award for International Justice and Harmony, Freedom of the City of Aberdeen, Bruno Kreisky Award, UNESCO Peace Prize, Carter–Menil Human Rights Prize, Bishop John T. Walker Distinguished Humanitarian Service Award, Giuseppe Motta Medal, Ludovic-Trarieux International Human Rights Prize, J. William Fulbright Prize for International Understanding, W E B DuBois International Medal, Prince of Asturias Award for International Cooperation, Harvard Business School Statesman of the Year Award.


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

“No country can really develop unless its citizens are educated.”

“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.”

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

“There is nothing like to return to a place that remains unchanged to find the ways in which you yourself have altered.”

“Let freedom reign. The sun never set on so glorious  a human achievement.”

“A good head and a good heart are always a formidable combination.”

“Courageous people do not fear forgiving, for the sake of peace.”

“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.”

“If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head. If you talk to him in his language, that goes to his heart.”

“We must use time wisely and forever realize that the time is always ripe to do right.”

“A good leader can engage in a debate frankly and thoroughly, knowing that at the end he and the other side must be closer, and thus emerge stronger. You don’t have that idea, when you are arrogant, superficial, and uninformed.”

“In countries where innocent people are dying, their leaders are following their blood rather than their brains.”

“We can’t afford to be killing one another.”

“To deny people their human rights is to challenge their very humanity.”


These are only some of many important and generally applicable quotes of a righteous, courageous, and empathic man. With Nelson Mandela, we lost a significant symbol of hope, a symbol for the necessity to get rid of discrimination. Discrimination should not be part of the human nature.

Blog Action Day: Human Rights – Against Discrimination

Human Rights – how many of us have always considered this ‘huge’, like ‘There is certainly nothing I can do’? The first organisation that comes to your mind may be Amnesty International ( Their site offers information about who they are, where they are, how they help. They strive for making this world a better place.

You can inform yourselves, you can donate, you can join Amnesty International to support something good and – you can also search for violations of human rights in your direct neighbourhood. You may ask yourselves: ‘How? Why? Right here – how can that be?’

Don’t judge a book by its cover.

Every human being is special. Appearances are misleading. It really does not matter if someone is wearing expensive clothes, driving a fast car, owning a villa, etc. Soft skills determine a human being’s real value. It is discriminating if someone is not allowed to rent a flat because of clothing, ancestry, race. It is not discriminating if the same individual does not have enough money to pay the rent or lacks a minimum of emotional intelligence.

What is emotional intelligence? Emotional intelligence (EI) is the area of cognitive ability involving traits and social skills that facilitate interpersonal behaviour. You certainly prefer a kind person to a bitchy one, do you?

Way too often, people are deprived of jobs, flats, etc. because they just do not (seem to) fit in. This is embarrassing. And it is our opportunity to do something good by stepping in and support the discriminated person.

The dignity of man is inviolable.

Each of us can help secure human rights – even if it is on a small scale. Let’s do it!  🙂

Awareness campaign: suicide



Stop tabooing

information on

suicide, please.

You certainly ask yourselves why I share this topic:
Several weeks ago, I was asked to sign a petition “Prevent suicide – nationwide awareness campaign on suicide” (title translated from German). Blog posts from western Europe also showed that suicide is still a topic people prefer to avoid. Nobody should die because everyone else is looking the other way.
[I guest blogged part of this blog post on SFox’s Writing blog on 2013-10-01:]
I did some research and want to share with you
– the definitions of taboo and suicide
– Dr. Alex Lickerman’s 6 reasons for suicide (just an extract)
– links to very interesting related blog posts
– voices on suicide
– lyrics: Don’t Try Suicide – Queen


ta·boo  /təˈbo͞o/

A custom prohibiting or restricting a particular practice or forbidding association with a particular person, place, or thing.
Prohibited or restricted by custom.
Place under such prohibition.
noun.  tabu – prohibition – ban – interdict – proscription
adjective.  tabu – forbidden – prohibited – illicit
verb.  tabu – prohibit – ban – forbid – interdict – bar

su·i·cide  /ˈso͞oiˌsīd/

The action of killing oneself intentionally: “he committed suicide at the age of forty”.
Intentionally kill oneself.
noun.  self-destruction – self-murder
verb.  take one’s own life – make away with oneself

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Alex Lickerman, M.D. (

[Be aware that the following is only an extract.]:

In general, people try to kill themselves for six reasons:
  1. They’re depressed. This is without question the most common reason people commit suicide. Often people suffer with it silently, planning suicide without anyone ever knowing. Despite making both parties uncomfortable, inquiring directly about suicidal thoughts in my experience almost always yields an honest response. If you suspect someone might be depressed, don’t allow your tendency to deny the possibility of suicidal ideation prevent you from asking about it.
  2. They’re psychotic. Malevolent inner voices often command self-destruction for unintelligible reasons. Psychosis is much harder to mask than depression, and is arguably even more tragic. Psychosis, too, is treatable, and usually must be treated for a schizophrenic to be able to function at all. Untreated or poorly treated psychosis almost always requires hospital admission to a locked ward until the voices lose their commanding power.
  3. They’re impulsive. Often related to drugs and alcohol, some people become maudlin and impulsively attempt to end their own lives. Once sobered and calmed, these people usually feel emphatically ashamed. The remorse is often genuine, but whether or not they’ll ever attempt suicide again is unpredictable. They may try it again the very next time they become drunk or high, or never again in their lifetime. Substance abuse and the underlying reasons for it are generally a greater concern in these people and should be addressed as aggressively as possible.
  4. They’re crying out for help, and don’t know how else to get it. These people don’t usually want to die but do want to alert those around them that something is seriously wrong. They often don’t believe they will die, frequently choosing methods they don’t think can kill them in order to strike out at someone who’s hurt them, but they are sometimes tragically misinformed.
  5. They have a philosophical desire to die. The decision to commit suicide for some is based on a reasoned decision, often motivated by the presence of a painful terminal illness from which little to no hope of reprieve exists. These people aren’t depressed, psychotic, maudlin, or crying out for help. They’re trying to take control of their destiny and alleviate their own suffering, which usually can only be done in death.
  6. They’ve made a mistake. This is a recent, tragic phenomenon in which typically young people flirt with oxygen deprivation for the high it brings and simply go too far. The only defence against this, it seems to me, is education.
The wounds suicide leaves in the lives of those left behind by it are often deep and long lasting. The apparent senselessness of suicide often fuels the most significant pain. Thinking we all deal better with tragedy when we understand its underpinnings, I’ve offered the preceding paragraphs in hopes that anyone reading this who’s been left behind by a suicide might be able to more easily find a way to move on, to relinquish their guilt and anger, and find closure. Despite the abrupt way you may have been left, guilt and anger don’t have to be the only two emotions you’re doomed to feel about the one who left you.

If you enjoyed this post, please feel free to explore Dr. Lickerman’s home page, Happiness in this World.

Links to very interesting blog posts related to this topic

Blog: Topaz Winters: The Official Website

Blog: Greg Canty Fuzion Blog

It drives me mad – Why do we move on and forget so easily?” (Greg Canty)

Blog: annavsana

“If I die, it was meant to be. If I survive, then there must still be some reason that I am to live.”  –  Going on!

Blog: My First Fantasy Novel

Great short story

Blog: A Haphazard Universe

“You are valuable.”

Blog: Irish Music, Oceans, and God’s Love

Encouraging “Because I feel alive, I feel.” (Lisa)

Voices on suicide


Two former colleagues killed themselves. One of them was often depressed, sure. None of us could have guessed that it was that bad. The other colleague, after an accident with minor injuries, felt he could no longer cope. He seized the opportunity to retire early. Several weeks later we were informed about his death. We learned later that he had committed suicide.


When I was a student I lived in a house with 8 tiny flats. My upstairs neighbour was also at university. He was quite good looking, had a cute girlfriend. One day, after our afternoon classes, my girlfriend and I returned home. We heard someone crying from above. I went up to investigate. His girlfriend was sobbing her eyes out. On coming home she found his lifeless body. He had taken sleeping pills. We had no idea that he was unhappy.

Two years after that, one of my fellow students – a manic depressive – decided to quit taking his medication. He had attempted suicide in the past and was saved in time. This time he jumped out of the window (at home). We didn’t know what we could have done to prevent him from doing it.


I consider it horrible that someone commits suicide out of the blue and leaves it to his/her family to cope with it. There is something else to consider regarding this topic… What if someone is really that ill, or very old and frail that a life worth living is no longer possible? I do not know what I would do in this case. I could understand it and respect that someone plans to end his/her life due to a justified reason. In my opinion this makes it possible to die with dignity. I came to this conclusion due to a report by Pratchett.


As I mentioned before: Nobody should die because everyone else is looking the other way. Referring to Ruth: I once saw a war film. There was a wounded soldier in the sick bay. He was completely paralysed, couldn’t even move his eyelids. He was fully aware of everything around him – and nobody knew how he felt. I cannot remember the end, perhaps I switched off the TV set. You have to forgive me – I was about fourteen years old. This is a nightmare, being completely immobile, held captive in your own body.

Whenever I feel sad, I think about all the good things that make me happy. These things may seem minor, in total they can make my day. You certainly remember my book review: Bryan L. Hutchinson shows easy steps on how to be happy every day.

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Don’t Try Suicide – Queen

(Words and music by Freddie Mercury)

A-one two three four one

Don’t do it don’t you try it baby
Don’t do that
Don’t don’t don’t
Don’t do that
You got a good thing going now
Don’t do it don’t do it

Don’t try suicide
Nobody’s worth it
Don’t try suicide
Nobody cares
Don’t try suicide
You’re just gonna hate it
Don’t try suicide
Nobody gives a damn

So you think it’s the easy way out?
Think you’re gonna slash your wrists
This time
Baby when you do it all you do is
Get on my tits
Don’t do that try try try baby
Don’t do that —you got a good thing going now
Don’t do it don’t do it

Don’t try suicide
Nobody’s worth it
Don’t try suicide
Nobody cares
Don’t try suicide
You’re just gonna hate it
Don’t try suicide
Nobody gives a damn

You need help
Look at yourself you need help (yeah, yeah)
You need life
So don’t hang yourself
It’s okay, okay, okay, okay
You just can’t be a prick teaser all of the time
A little bit attention—you got it
Need some affection—you got it
Suicide suicide suicide bid
Suicide suicide suicide bid

Don’t do it don’t do it don’t do it babe (yeah)
Don’t do it don’t do it don’t—do it
Hey, yeah!

Don’t put your neck on the line
Don’t drown on me babe
Blow your brains out –
Don’t do that (yeah)
Don’t do that—you got a good thing going baby
Don’t do it (no) don’t do it (no) don’t
Don’t try suicide
Nobody’s worth it
Don’t try suicide
Nobody cares
Don’t try suicide
You’re just gonna hate it
Don’t try suicide
Nobody gives
Nobody gives
Nobody gives a damn


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My special thanks go to all bloggers mentioned in this post. You are very inspiring in your very special ways.

I feel, therefore I am. (above mentioned Lisa inspired me, thank you so much, Lisa.  :-))

What is your opinion on this topic? Do we forget too easily? Many of us were brought up with tabooing – isn’t it time to rethink?

The new world of interpreting: Are some staying behind?

This is an excellent blog post on dealing with change.

The Professional Interpreter

Dear Colleagues,

Modernization is part of human nature, it’s always been around. From the cavemen who used the first tools, to the invention of writing, to the discovery of new territories, and to the technological advances of the 21st. century, humankind has always strived to be more comfortable, more competitive, and more modern. Sadly, as modernization is in our DNA, so is the desire to resist change. How many wars, social unrests, and atrocities have been committed on the name of “tradition” and to protect the status quo. Fear is a bad advisor; it never stops progress but it slows it down.  Historically people have opposed change arguing that it will bring upon us calamity and disaster. This has never happened. No doubt the primitive hunter feared agriculture as its results took longer than it took to hunt a prey. Veteran sailors feared navigation far from shore because…

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My first books were picture books. The pictures were quite nice, true. I was searching for something more interesting. I was constantly trying to get hold of the newspaper. As my father preferred to read it without interruptions I finally got my first book with pictures and texts. You can imagine what happened next: I started asking about every word. Which word is this? What about that long word at the end of the line? My family gave in and started explaining all the letters. I soon read my books on my own. My father had to hide the newspaper as he did not want me to read about all the bad news. I got hold of my brother’s ‘Learn how to drive’ book – and could have passed the theory. Afterwards I was granted new books on a weekly basis. At school, I earned the best marks regarding correct writing and rather bad marks for my rather ugly handwriting. 😉

I am as keen on reading as ever. If possible, I read in the original language. The Scandinavian authors need to forgive me for reading their work in English. 😉

There is so much to read about: fiction (crime, adventure, fantasy, blogs, etc.), non-fiction (linguistics, biographies, countries, project management, lessons learned databases, statistics, animals, psychology, economy, blogs, etc.). Most topics are suitable for fast reading. I like books – our so-called library contains thousands, I like eBook readers, reading on smartphones, tablets, laptops, etc. Whatever might be worth reading will certainly be read. Despite my husband’s desperation regarding the number of books – I can assure you that he is the first one to lure me into a bookstore. At the same time it is absolutely sure that he is going to find the most interesting book available.

Books are a true addiction. Some readers prefer fiction; others would never read anything else than non-fiction. Reading assists you in learning, reading makes you understand, reading is a wonderful pastime, and – reading is an excellent basis for discussions.

Now I am inclined to grab a coffee and one of my reading devices.

Hope to read you.