There have been many posts today that have struck me with their beauty and eloquence, thoughtfulness and somber tributes. This for me though, held on – perhaps representing the power of all that has been written.

Originally posted on The Bully Pulpit:

Nelson Mandela

“It was during those long and lonely years that my hunger for the freedom of my own people became a hunger for the freedom of all people, white and black. I knew as well as I knew anything that the oppressor must be liberated just as surely as the oppressed. A man who takes away another man’s freedom is a prisoner of hatred, he is locked behind the bars of prejudice and narrow-mindedness. I am not truly free if I am taking away someone else’s freedom, just as surely as I am not free when my freedom is taken from me. The oppressed and the oppressor alike are robbed of their humanity.

When I walked out of prison, that was my mission, to liberate the oppressed and the oppressor both. Some say that has now been achieved. But I know that that is not the case. The truth is that…

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12 comments on “Prisoners

  1. jheit says:

    Thanks for sharing this, for I would have missed out on reading this and for sure it would have been a loss. I am amazed and in awe of the tremendous ability to forgive and move forward, but when reading the words of Booker T. Washington; “I learned the lesson that great men cultivate love, and that only little men cherish a spirit of hatred. I learned that assistance given to the weak makes the one who gives it strong; and that oppression of the unfortunate makes one weak. It is now long ago that I learned this lesson… and resolved that I would permit no man, no matter what his color might be, to narrow and degrade my soul by making me hate him…”, I had my “aha” moment. In its simplicity shines brilliance and as with Mandela, a long and wonderful legacy. Let’s hope we can allow ourselves the wisdom to learn from it and move forward as he dreamed. For in the end, are they not our dreams as well?
    Thanks for this poignant reminder of the man and the great void his passing leaves in the world. Hopefully he will not have walked this earth in vain.

    • mimijk says:

      I know I’ve said this so often – Jo you need to write…And what a wonderful circumstance in which to have an ‘aha’ moment. In the words and memory of such remarkable men who had reached levels of human understanding we can only hope to achieve in part. And if we do reach even a partial understanding, nothing will have been in vain.

  2. Carolann says:

    So much to learn from him. Thanks for posting.

  3. The depth and breadth of Mandela’s soul never ceases to astound me. Thank you for sharing this wonderful tribute, honey. May he rest in peace….

  4. ksbeth says:

    yes, this one is especially poignant, mimi. peace, beth

  5. jrbenjamin says:

    Thank you for reblogging. Glad to see there’s been some strong positive feedback to the post.


  6. reocochran says:

    I am always grateful to read more about someone who made a big difference in his country and also, the world!

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