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6 Lessons Kids Can Learn from Mandela's Long Walk to Freedom

6 Lessons Kids Can Learn from Mandela's Long Walk to Freedom

Nelson Mandela was one of the most inspiring leaders to have ever lived. He left behind a legacy of love, compassion and forgiveness. To celebrate his life, we have created 6 lessons children can learn from him. 

This is from the Nelson Mandela Capture Site in South Africa. Picture by Ashim D'Silva. 
 

1. Never Give Up 

Nelson Mandela was focused on ending apartheid in South Africa and creating equality. He was the leader of the African National Congress, a political party, that fought against the apartheid government. Mandela was arrested and imprisoned for 27 years.  Despite being in jail, he never gave up on his cause. He was even offered a chance to be released from prison which he declined. He said that there was no point in being free if everyone wasn’t free. 

We can use his perseverance as a lesson in our lives. We should never give up on what we believe in. The journey will involve a lot of hard work and sacrifice. We should keep on going because, in the end, the results will be worth it.

 

2. Violence is not the answer 

Sometimes we get angry or frustrated at people. That's perfectly normal.  We may feel like hitting someone, but we shouldn't. One thing Nelson Mandela taught us is that violence is never a good response. We cannot solve anything if we become violent. 

Instead, we should take some time to calm down. When we feel a bit better, go and talk to the person that made us feel angry or frustrated. Tell them what they did and how it made us feel. The chances for reconciliation will be much higher.

 

3. Change is never easy 

When things around us change, it can be challenging to get used to it. Let's take transferring schools as an example. In a new school we don't know where everything is, the teachers and don't have our friends with us. It can feel overwhelming and scary. Change scares us because we don't know what will happen next. 

Nelson Mandela understood that changing how a government works is not easy at all. He negotiated with the president of South Africa after he was released from prison. These negotiations lasted three years. They were able to come to an agreement and changed South Africa into a democratic country. So when we are going through change, we should remember that it gets better with time.

 

4. Its good to compromise 

Sharing with others is one way of compromising and it makes everyone happy. Picture by Gabe Pierce

Compromise is deciding to meet someone halfway. It is a really good skill to practice. Mandela also knew the importance of compromise and used it to his advantage when he was negotiating with the government.
Kids can learn the art of compromise through so many little things. Sharing is one example. Teaching kids to share things such as sweets or toys can reinforce the art of compromise. Kids learn that compromise ensures everyone wins.

 

5. Courage is when you defeat fear

What makes someone courageous? Mandela taught us that we build courage by overcoming fear. Everyone has something that makes them scared. It could be animals, flying, swimming, performing in front of a crowd among many others. However, when we do they do the things that make us scared, we build courage. 

Mandela lived a courageous life in his fight for equality. He fought for equality even though it meant that he would get arrested. That did not stop him from fighting for equality. He kept fighting even after he was arrested and put in prison. He taught us how to live a courageous life by defeating fear.

 

6. Getting the right kind of education is key

Try to  learn something new from people around you. Picture by Natasha Hall.

I love learning about different things. My favourite topics are on Africa. I find it interesting learning about the history and different cultures. We should learn about people's cultures and traditions. We can also learn about different countries and languages. The world is so big and interesting. 

Mandela was an advocate for education. He believed that people should educate themselves. He believed that people who educate themselves can change the world!

 

Nelson Mandela lived a life like no other. He also left behind a legacy that will be remembered for many years to come. If we all do some of the things that he taught, the world would be a better place. 


We have made fun and engaging free worksheet on Mandela's life and legacy for your kids! Click here to download it. 

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