It is probably going too far to say Mandela preached the idea of Martin Luther King Jr. in the segregated American South, of a love for the oppressor so serious that it loved in order to wipe away the self-harm done to them who act out of hatred. But Mandelas idea certainly was to reconcile differences on the basis of nonviolence, and to honor the other: I detest white supremacy and will fight it with every weapon in my hands. But even when the clash between you and me has taken the most extreme forms, I should like us to fight over our principles and ideas and without personal hatred, so that at the end of the battle, whatever the result might be, I can proudly shake hands with you, because I feel I have fought an upright and worthy opponent who has observed the whole code of honor and decency. What distance the man born in 1918 had come. In a fragment of his unfinished autobiography that appears in Conversations, he remembers his early days with some ruefulness: As a young man I combined all the weaknesses, errors and indiscretions of a country boy, whose range of vision and experience was influenced mainly by events in the area in which I grew up and the colleges to which I was sent. I relied on arrogance in order to hide my weaknesses. As an adult my comrades raised me and other fellow prisoners from obscurity although the aura of being one of the worlds longest serving prisoners never totally evaporated. One issue that deeply worried me in prison was the false image that I unwittingly projected to the outside world of being regarded as a saint. I never was one.
For the original version including any supplementary images or video, visit http://www.csmonitor.com/World/Africa/2013/1206/Nelson-Mandela-and-the-foundations-of-one-s-spiritual-life
South Africa begins life without Nelson Mandela
<img src='http://l.yimg.com/bt/api/res/1.2/bxFcjZYgIPcpZq6.cdfciQ–/YXBwaWQ9eW5ld3M7Zmk9ZmlsbDtoPTY2MTtweW9mZj0wO3E9NzU7dz05NjA-/http://media.zenfs.com/en_us/News/ap_webfeeds/f9897e060d7a2929450f6a7067001664.jpg' width='200px' alt='Floral tributes to former president Nelson Mandela, pile up beneath a statue of Mandela on Mandela Square at Sandton City, in Johannesburg Friday, Dec. 6, 2013. Mandela died Thursday at his Johannesburg home after a long illness. He was 95. (AP Photo/Athol Moralee)’ style=’float:left;padding:5px’ />
The world watched the electrifying occasion live on television. Because of Mandela’s decades-long confinement, few people knew what he looked like or had seen a recent photograph. Mandela said he was astounded by the reception. “When I was among the crowd I raised my right fist, and there was a roar. I had not been able to do that for twenty-seven years and it gave me a surge of strength and joy,” Mandela wrote. He also recalled: “As I finally walked through those gates to enter a car on the other side, I felt even at the age of seventy-one that my life was beginning anew.” — May 10, 1994: Nelson Mandela became the first black president of South Africa after democratic elections, taking the oath of office at the Union Buildings in Pretoria, the South African capital. Leaders and other dignitaries from around the world attended the historic occasion, which offered many South Africans another chance to celebrate in the streets. At the close of his inauguration speech, Mandela said: “Never, never and never again shall it be that this beautiful land will again experience the oppression of one by another and suffer the indignity of being the skunk of the world,” he said.
For the original version including any supplementary images or video, visit http://www.foxnews.com/world/2013/12/05/highlights-nelson-mandela-life-show-how-became-symbol-reconciliation/