General Question

ibstubro's avatar

Shall we say a fond farewell to Nelson Mandela?

Asked by ibstubro (18636points) December 5th, 2013

Mr. Mandela died today at the age of 95.

I remember admiring his practical humility in the 90’s and since.

27 (twenty seven) years in prison prior to becoming the leader of South Africa.

Imperfect, but an inspiration to millions.

RIP, Mr. Mandela

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25 Answers

ETpro's avatar

He was an extraordinary human being. His living example of forgiving and forging ahead with people who had despitefully used him is something all humanity can admire and stive toward.

dxs's avatar

Rest in peace, Nelson Mandela!

lx102303's avatar

Yes , a fond farewell to an exceptional man ; RIP Mr. Nelson Mandela .

marinelife's avatar

He led a deservedly long life. He was a great example of leadership, forgiveness and humility.

trailsillustrated's avatar

Bye Madiba rest well you were loved.

zenzen's avatar

I hadn’t seen your question… I am asking mine to be removed. GQ.

stanleybmanly's avatar

He was the greatest refutation to cynicism regarding the human condition in my lifetime. It’s a privilege just to have lived in the same era. The man was more than inspirational. He was so exceptional that it’s nearly beyond belief.

ragingloli's avatar

Conservatives everywhere are cheering, calling him a communist terrorist.

mattbrowne's avatar

A true hero. We’ll miss him, but his legacy lives on.

28lorelei's avatar

He gave a great deal to humanity. We can remember him by continuing to fight for human rights…

flutherother's avatar

A great man without a trace of bitterness or pride. I almost feel I knew him and I am sorry he has gone.

Skaggfacemutt's avatar

My new daughter-in-law is from South Africa, and she is concerned for her family now. She said that even though Mr. Mandela was no longer president, he continued to hold the country together.

ETpro's avatar

Listen to this At about 7 minutes in, it’s just chilling in its beauty.

snowberry's avatar

@ETpro Yes, that is absolutely true.

susanc's avatar

Yes, ETpro, it is absolutely true. It’s hard to learn, but we have to.

ETpro's avatar

For those who can’t or won’t listen to the video, here’s a salient part of the transcript.

Asked about Mandrell introducing three of his former jailers at his inauguration, Bill Clinton answers, “Well, he developed the discipline in his long period of incarceration to see the humanity even among his enemies. And he not only invited his jailers to his inauguration, he put in his cabinet the leaders of the parties who had sent him to prison. And keep in mind he got 62% of the vote, it was a parliamentary system, he could have claimed all the cabinet positions, run the country as a one-party state, he did not do that. He put literally people who had out him in prison, and because he trusted them, they came to trust him. And look, they didn’t solve all their problems, they didn’t end all their disagreements, but they worked together, they got things done. And it was an amazing thing to see.”

“And I talked to him on several occasions about how he came to the place inside, how he developed a mental and emotional capacity to forgive and to forge alliances with his former adversaries.”

Asked about visiting the prison cell with Mandela, Clinton continues, “Well, first of all I’ll never forget it, it was only like 14×14. And you could see from the pictures that even at a very old man Mandela maintained a certain level of fitness. He was erect till the very last couple of years of hos life. He was trim. You could see the man who had been a boxer, a man who had worked breaking rocks for eleven of more years of his time in prison.”

“He was amazing, but he talked to me in that prison cell, as we grabbed the bars and looked out together, about what it was like. And I said, Tell me how this changed you. How did you give up 27 years of your live and come out a better man than when you went in? And I said I just don’t understand. I said, didn’t you hate those people when you went in—I’ve seen the pictures of you as a young man when you went it, you were really mad.”

“He said, ‘Yeah, I was young, stong, and I was a boxer. And he said I lived on my hatred for 11 years breaking those rocks ever day. And one day I realized that they had already taken so much from me. They had abused me physically and emotionally they had kept me from seeing my children grow up. They has separated me from my wife. It eventually destroyed my marriage.’ ”

“He said, ‘I realized they could take everything from me, everything, except my mind and my heart. Those things I would have to give them.’ And he said, ‘I decided not to give them away.’ And he looked right at me and he said, ‘Neither should you.’ ”

From a Fox News Interview with Clinton in preparation for the funeral.

LostInParadise's avatar

I have to confess that I did not know much about Mandela, but the stories that I have been hearing are quite remarkable. Mandela was a big fan of the South African rugby team, which was, and I believe still is, almost all white. This proved to be a great political asset, because it helped to show the white population that Mandela represented them as well, and the success of the South African rugby team helped to unite the country.

ibstubro's avatar

”...they could take everything from me, everything, except my mind and my heart. Those things I would have to give them.’ And he said, ‘I decided not to give them away.’”

If we were brave enough, we’d all find a crayon and write that on the ceiling above our beds.

flutherother's avatar

We should not forget Nelson Mandela’s contemporaries who didn’t survive such as Steve Biko who died in police custody in 1977 leaving a wife and two children.

Adagio's avatar

@ETpro Great thanks for that video link, it really challenges me personally.

susanc's avatar

If I remember the story right, it wasn’t so much that he was a fan of the rugby team – it was that he realized all the white people were fans. But the country was now no longer divided (in theory), and the team was the whole country’s team. So he got behind it and whipped up support and excitement for it among the whole populace, which united the country around this huge excitement and pride. Then the Springboks beat the hell out of whoever they had to play in the finals and everyone was hugging and kissing each other. Yay!! Bring on the vuvuzelas!!!!

ibstubro's avatar

Good answer, nice memory, @susanc.

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