I have watched a video about Nelson Mandela's life several times now....only about 10 minutes in total length.
It is on CBS Sunday Morning tv show....google search it I am sure you can find it.
Why am I posting about this?
For this one line in it....
A reporter put this statement-question to Mr. Mandela after his release from prison (27 years in bondage).
.....It appears the Nelson Mandela we know is who he is because of his time in prison.
"I came out matured."--Nelson Mandela.
The report explains Nelson Mandela changed over his lifetime.
First, he was all about peaceful resistance.
Then, he took up a "righteous anger" stance.....a stance that got him arrested, convicted, and sentenced to life in prison.
While he was in captivity he changed...and changed those around him in the process.
He was released on February 11.
He entered prison (an extreme trial with a singular goal of breaking the man) an angry, passionate man.
He emerged without the anger and impetuous nature.....but still had his core character traits fully in tacted, and even strengthened.
I am not comparing any of our journey's through this trial to the GREAT one Mr. Mandela walked....just noting how trials present us with the opportunity to break out of our outer shell's of lesser traits (such as anger, impatience, pride, etc.) and embrace our core traits (compassion, empathy, sympathy, integrity, honor, respect).
"Prison burned all of his excesses away."--reporter.
And this opportunity is presented to both fWS and BS alike.
I cant do this CBS news report justice....this report touched me and I felt it could touch others.
Mr. Mandela COULD have become a martyr, victim, withdrawn person....and no one would have blamed him.
But he did not....he choose differently.
Real change in him was really started when he was willing to die for what he believed in. He wasn't killed, but that was a very real outcome.
Real change in me really only started when I was willing to accept that my original M to my wife died, to let my old coping mechanisms die, to accept the fact that R was NOT my only choice.
Mr. Mandela had no proof that he was furthering the cause he so believed in. In fact, all of the facts pointed that he had been beat. He succeeded. As this story is told, he didn't even succeed in the ways he thought he would. He got the end result he wanted....but it was not at all the result of his original "plan"....
Again, he was a truly GREAT person. I am not linking his journey in the same light as mine....just see it as a very strong, amplified example on how trials can be used to "burn away our excesses" and expose the value of each of our characters that has been there all along.....we just lost sight of them.
God be with us all.
Mr. Mandela WAS released from prison on my birthday!
[This message edited by blakesteele at 4:18 PM, January 9th (Thursday)]