The Washington PostDemocracy Dies in Darkness

Nelson Mandela on the power of education

(This post ran previously in June.)

One of the most famous quotes of the revered Nelson Mandela is about education:

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

Here are a few other Mandela quotes about the importance of education:

The power of education extends beyond the development of skills we need for economic success. It can contribute to nation-building and reconciliation. Our previous system emphasized the physical and other differences of South Africans with devastating effects. We are steadily but surely introducing education that enables our children to exploit their similarities and common goals, while appreciating the strength in their diversity.

No one is born hating another person because of the color of his skin, or his background, or his religion. People 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.


A good head and good heart are always a formidable combination. But when you add to that a literate tongue or pen, then you have something very special.

There can be no keener revelation of a society’s soul than the way in which it treats its children.