Updated: Jun 24, 2021
In Remembrance of Nelson Mandela (18 Jul 1918 - 5 Dec 2013) & a Tribute to His Influence
📷 Franz Roos
He believed that people were essentially good, and showed kindness when you’d least expect it. The following personal story¹ penned by Mandela himself, delivers a powerful (and awesomely unbelievable!!!) lesson in #forgiveness:
'After I became president, one day I asked some members of my close protection to stroll with me in the city, have lunch at one of its restaurants. We sat in one of the down-town restaurants and all of us asked for some sort of food … After a while, the waiter brought us our requests, I noticed that there was someone sitting in front of my table waiting for food.
I told one of the soldiers: Go and ask that person to join us with his food and eat with us. The soldier went and asked the man so. The man brought up his food and sat by my side as I asked and began to eat. His hands were trembling constantly until everyone had finished their food and the man went.
The soldier said to me: "The man was apparently quite sick. His hands trembled as he ate!!"
“No, not at all,” said Mandela. “This man was the guard of the prison where I was jailed.
Often, after the torture I was subjected to, I used to scream and ask for a little water. The very same man used to come every time and urinate on my head instead”…; so I found him scared, trembling, expecting me to reciprocate now, at least in the same way, either by torturing him or imprisoning him as I am now the President of the State of South Africa…
But this is not my character nor part of my ethics.
The mentality of retaliation destroys states while the mentality of tolerance builds Nations" '
Rejecting bitterness and resentment, #Madiba innately understood the importance of embracing forgiveness, and chose to look forward, not back!
He embodied integrity, decency and honour, and was revered the world over for his powerful heart and mind!
Perhaps a #lesson to be learnt from Mandela’s #legacy is that it's up to each of us to accept or reject responsibility for our future.The past and present are unchangeable, but the future remains to be determined.
And you cannot create a future greater than the past without knowing what came before.
And if what came before were acts of atrocities and crimes against humanity – those responsible should explore the potential of #acceptance as #aforceforchange; and those (in/directly) affected should embrace forgiveness, so that they may heal their wounds to move forward.
Forgiveness does not change nor erase the past, but rather brings solace to the present and allows us to proactively navigate the future landscape.
Exhale the past and inhale the future so we can have a better tomorrow!
¹ Source: mwebantu.news