A Lesson From Mandela

Once more I am compelled to write my blog about the loss of yet another world leader who struggled to right the wrongs of a nation. President Nelson Mandela of South Africa has passed away.

He fought with heart and soul to bring an end to the hideous years of apartheid his countrymen were living under.  He suffered a constant fear of reprisal for his devotion to set his people free of the bonds of white supremacy.

For this mighty and just cause he was harassed, vilified and ultimately confined to the harsh Robben Island prison near Cape Town, sentenced to life at hard labor.  He spent twenty-seven years in prison before being released.

There are many quotes from Mandela that ring with profound meaning, but the one that I shall always remember is, when asked if he wanted revenge, his answer was, “If I seek revenge then I will still be in prison.”

In our lifetime, small words or deeds can hurt us but only forgiveness can free us. As long as we hold grudges we are not free.  We are prisoners of our making.

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