The Late Nelson Mandela

The world has changed in many ways and human civilization has changed right along with it. There have been times when the ownership of other human beings was considered not only permissible but a God-given right if not an obligation. From that mindset came many heinous acts that still have consequences today. Out of that story comes the history of South Africa and its first black president, Nelson Mandela.

His Early Life

Nelson was born into the nobility of his tribe. His position offered him status among his people but his country was home to many tribes and in charge of the country was an external population of Dutch extraction known as the Boers. They had entered the area with superior weaponry and allocated the best resources for themselves to the detriment of the indigenous population. They also set up a cruel system known as ‘apartheid’ which stated that there would be segregation between all of the races in a hierarchy which placed white people at the top. This system was maintained with brutality by a corrupt police force made entirely of white people.

Fighting for Rights

As a young man, the suffering that was occurring throughout his country caused him grief and he felt motivated to act. He joined groups that were dedicated to removing apartheid so that all South Africans could enjoy freedom. At times their methods included violence as a means of getting the attention of the authorities. Regardless, he was eventually caught by the police and spent over two decades in jail.

Imprisonment

The time that he spent in prison was not wasted. He used it to envision his country as it could be and his cause began to gain international support. Even people who were not certain of what he fought for began to clamor for his release. Eventually he gained his freedom and was appointed president in the first election in which all South Africans were allowed to vote.

Forgiveness

One of the important political decisions he made was to forgive the people who imprisoned him. He saw the need for the entire nation to join forces for progress rather than to expel those who were previously in the wrong. As a result, his country has achieved a much higher level of development.

The lessons that can be learned from Nelson Mandela’s life are countless. His patience and foresight should be admired and emulated.

 

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