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#456737 - 12/13/13 07:01 PM Mandela and forgiveness
cant_remember Offline

Registered: 02/26/05
Posts: 1070
This is my first new post in a few months, but I was struck by something recently and wanted to share.

In all the Nelson Mandela news coverage after his death, the one thing that really struck me was how he managed to forgive his captors and become their leader. Not only did he end apartheid, but he kept South Africa's black population from slaughtering and looting from the minority whites like Mugabe did in Zimbabwe.

(I know that there are members here from SA, so if I get any of this wrong, please correct me.)

It was that forgiveness of his oppressors that caused Mandela to become the great leader that he was by transcending the eye-for-an-eye mentality that one might expect to occur.

Got me thinking about forgiveness and my perp. How can I learn to forgive him so I can move on? What can Nelson Mandela teach me about forgiveness?

I need to learn all I can.

I'll be just fine and dandy
Lord, it's like a hard candy Christmas
I'm barely getting through tomorrow
But I won't let sorrow get me way down.

#456742 - 12/13/13 10:53 PM Re: Mandela and forgiveness [Re: cant_remember]
Chase Eric Offline

Registered: 10/25/10
Posts: 2842
Hi, Cant -

Forgiveness is not a charity nor is it an act of reckless kindness. It is a smart move on many levels, from mental health to political advantage. To forgive doesn't mean you are an extraordinarily nice guy - it means you are a person of strong character, which starts at being a nice guy, but is so much more. I think that most get it backwards, feeling strength in their anger. Anger, however, is just an illusion of strength. The truth is it that it actually takes more strength to forgive. I have always believed this to be true.

#456746 - 12/13/13 11:55 PM Re: Mandela and forgiveness [Re: cant_remember]
victor-victim Offline

Registered: 09/27/03
Posts: 6387
Loc: 𝒪 𝒦anada
this is from another thread...

Originally Posted By: victor-victim
Originally Posted By: Bluedog
I sure would like to know his secret of forgiveness.

nelson mandela is a great lesson in forgiveness.
he did not get there the easy way.
nor did he arrive at that conclusion quickly.
as a young man in 1964 he spoke about violence.

"I must deal immediately and at some length with the question of violence. Some of the things so far told to the Court are true and some are untrue. I do not, however, deny that I planned sabotage. I did not plan it in a spirit of recklessness, nor because I have any love of violence. I planned it as a result of a calm and sober assessment of the political situation that had arisen after many years of tyranny, exploitation, and oppression of my people by the Whites."

"As a result of Government policy, violence by the African people had become inevitable, and that unless responsible leadership was given to canalize and control the feelings of our people, there would be outbreaks of terrorism which would produce an intensity of bitterness and hostility between the various races of this country which is not produced even by war. "

"We felt that without violence there would be no way open to the African people to succeed in their struggle against the principle of white supremacy. All lawful modes of expressing opposition to this principle had been closed by legislation, and we were placed in a position in which we had either to accept a permanent state of inferiority, or to defy the Government. We chose to defy the law. We first broke the law in a way which avoided any recourse to violence; when this form was legislated against, and then the Government resorted to a show of force to crush opposition to its policies, only then did we decide to answer violence with violence.
But the violence which we chose to adopt was not terrorism."

"the hard facts were that fifty years of non-violence had brought the African people nothing but more and more repressive legislation, and fewer and fewer rights. It may not be easy for this Court to understand, but it is a fact that for a long time the people had been talking of violence - of the day when they would fight the White man and win back their country - and we, the leaders of the ANC, had nevertheless always prevailed upon them to avoid violence and to pursue peaceful methods. When some of us discussed this in May and June of 1961, it could not be denied that our policy to achieve a nonracial State by non-violence had achieved nothing, and that our followers were beginning to lose confidence in this policy and were developing disturbing ideas of terrorism."

"after a long and anxious assessment of the South African situation, I, and some colleagues, came to the conclusion that as violence in this country was inevitable, it would be unrealistic and wrong for African leaders to continue preaching peace and non-violence at a time when the Government met our peaceful demands with force. This conclusion was not easily arrived at. It was only when all else had failed, when all channels of peaceful protest had been barred to us, that the decision was made to embark on violent forms of political struggle"

these provocative, but honest words were not well received in south africa, living in fear on the verge of a civil race war.

it took nelson mandela decades to renounce his commitment to a violent solution to what seemed an impossible situation.

one can only imagine what injustice he was forced to endure.
he was a great man, but still a human.
and so are we.
if he can forgive, so can we.

if you want to read mandela's whole speech, please google :

nelson mandela statement from the dock 1964 rivonia trial

copied from ...



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