In my humble opinion, Nelson Mandela was the greatest public figure in modern history. To go through what he did in prison for so many years, and still have a heart of forgiveness, and live the rest of his life with such energy and enthusiasm, epitomises the strength of the human spirit.
After being incarcerated, the prison staff did their absolute best to dehumanise him by means of verbal abuse, prohibiting his contact with the outside world, and generally violating his basic human rights. Yet how did he respond? He held his dignity and eventually gained the respect and admiration of the prison staff.
When he was released from prison after 27 years, he condemned the violence that had engulfed his beloved country. A few years later, after being elected as President of South Africa, he demonstrated remarkable forgiveness, by appointing the former President, De Clerk as his Vice President.
The legacy that Nelson Mandela has left us all, is one of, strength of character, resilience and most of all forgiveness. What a great man and a shining example to us all. An example that shows us the benefits of blessing our enemies and doing good to those that persecute us.
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