Nelson Mandela

Nelson Mandela (Photo credit: Festival Karsh Ottawa)

Just a revisit….

Good morning, good afternoon, good evening or good night – fellow AWESOMERS! Just thought I would put that in since I have followers now from all over this beautiful world – especially in the US…shout out hello to all of you.

So it is afternoon here and I am on my day 2 of 4 of afternoon shifts this afternoon (nurse speak) and decided I would try to fit in a bit of study before I head to work (because lets face it – full time shift work, family, kids, training and my extra role just doesnt fill my time enough so lets take up some study pffttt – yeah I know stoopid idea but hey – someones gotta trial stoopid stuff might as well be me. Im actually going for the guiness book of records for the person who can fit the most into a life – anyone want to race me for the title?). And I re-read the answer to one of the questions and thought I would share it here…


Google search under historic speeches and locate a famous motivational speech which inspires you. Analyse in 200 words why this speech interests you and why you find it motivating.


The speech I chose was the Dali Lama’s Peace Prize acceptance speech –

Dalai Lama’s Peace Prize Acceptance Speech

Your Majesty, Member of the Nobel Committee, Brothers and Sisters:

I am very happy to be here with you today to receive the Nobel Prize for peace. I feel honored, humbled, and deeply moved that you should give this important prize to a simple monk from Tibet. I am no one special. But I believe the prize is a recognition of the true value of altruism, love, compassion, and nonviolence which I try to practice, in accordance with the teachings of the Buddha and the sages of India and Tibet. I accept the prize with profound gratitude on behalf of all of the oppressed everywhere and for all those who struggle for freedom and work for world peace. I accept it as a tribute to the man who founded the modern tradition of nonviolent action for change- Mahatama Gandhi-whose life taught and inspired me. And, of course, I accept it on behalf of the six million Tibetan people, my brave countrymen and women inside Tibet, who have suffered and continue to suffer so much. They confront a calculated and systematic strategy aimed at the destruction of their national and cultural identities. The prize reaffirms our conviction that with truth, courage, and determination as our weapons, Tibet will be liberated.

No matter what part of the world we come from, we are all basically the same human beings. We all seek happiness and try to avoid suffering. We have basically the same human needs and concerns. All of us human beings want freedom and the right to determine our own destiny as individuals and as peoples. That is human nature. The great changes that are taking place in the world, from Eastern Europe to Africa, are a clear indication of this. …

… As a Buddhist monk, my concern extends to all members of the human family and, indeed, to all the sentient beings who suffer. I believe all suffering is caused by ignorance. People inflict pain on others in the selfish pursuit of their happiness or satisfaction.

Yet true happiness comes from a sense of peace and contentment, which in turn must be achieved through the cultivation of altruism, of love and compassion, and elimination of ignorance, selfishness, and greed.

The problems we face today, violent conflicts, destruction of nature, poverty, hunger, and so on, are human created problems which can be resolved through human effort, understanding, and a development of a sense of brotherhood and sisterhood. We need to cultivate a universal responsibility for one another and the planet we share. Although I have found my own Buddhist religion helpful in generating love and compassion, even for those we consider our enemies, I am convinced that everyone can develop a good heart and a sense of universal responsibility with or without religion.

With the ever-growing impact of science in our lives, religion and spirituality have a greater role to play reminding us of our humanity. There is no contradiction between the two. Each gives us valuable insights into each other. Both science and the teaching of the Buddha tell us of the fundamental unity of all things. This understanding is crucial if we are to take positive and decisive action on the pressing global concern with the environment.

I believe all religions pursue the same goals, that of cultivating human goodness and bringing happiness to all human beings. Though the means may appear different, the ends are the same.

As we enter the final decade of this century, I am optimistic that the ancient values that have sustained mankind are today reaffirming themselves to prepare us for a kinder, happier twenty-first century.

I pray for all of us, oppressor and friend, that together we succeed in building a better world through human understanding and love, and that in doing so we may reduce the pain and suffering of all sentient beings.


Tenzin Gyatso

14th Dalai Lama of Tibet December 10, 1989, Oslo, Norway, Earth


In his speech the Dali Lama highlights that we are essentially all equal. No matter your race, religion, skin colour, economic standing, history, etc – we are all HUMAN and no less value than another. He discusses and outlines that we all search for the same things – we search for happiness, and to avoid suffering . I find this part of his speech motivating because it reminds us that at the core of it we are all humans and despite the “stuff” we get distracted by in our day to day lives, we all have commonalities of wanting happiness and freedom, but we all feel pain and suffering the same. A reminder that is quite necessary in the hustle and bustle of daily 1st world life.

He then highlights that ignorance, selfishness and greed is a great cause of much of the worlds suffering, and impresses the importance of cultivating a universal responsibility, elimination of ignorance, and a cultivation of altruism through human effort in addressing suffering of all kinds throughout the world.

So overall I find this speech very motivating for me because it reminds me of why I wanted to nurse in the first place – and that is to do my absolute best to reduce suffering of others and to be of service, and to do it through the brotherhood and sisterhood of the health system, and society as a whole.

I think sometimes it is important to revisit our motives behind our choices and paths in life to ensure that we are doing it for the right reasons. I have enjoyed revisiting this because it reminds me of why I do what I do and what I am shooting into the future for. It helps on those days when my “vocation” as a nurse is especially difficult physically or emotionally, and helps in those times when I have to advocate for what is ethical.

One person alone cannot do everything, but one person can be a catalyst, a “helper”, a contributor in everything. Together we can shape our world and ourselves.

Just a side note that I feel really needs to be addressed as a nurse (relating to some of the blogs/comments I have read elsewhere) – there are times when you will come across incompetent health care workers and feel like the health system is conspiring against you in your time of suffering and distress. Just remember that this is rarely the case and complaining about this does not change the outcome – be part of the solution not part of the problem. The time it takes for a “on the floor” nurse to deal with you complaining about wait lists, etc…is the time they could be caring for your loved one. Where are you putting your energy – if you want something changed go about acting in a positive way to help that change – you are not JUST one person – you ARE one person…big difference.

Everybody You ARE AWESOME!!!



One thought on “MOVED BY MANDELA

  1. Reblogged this on My Infinite Balance and commented:

    The world mourns the death of an inspired man today. Nelson Mandela has inspired man and called many to action as they move through their lives. Here is a post I wrote about this man last year and how his words have impacted on me.

    Maybe we can do a daily post with this.

    Tell us how Nelson Mandelas life and words have inspired or impacted you? What words struck you the most? Link this post so we can follow what you write about this.

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