Thursday, December 5, 2013

Peace: Mandela

CLOUT - Hand in Hand by paynehollow
CLOUT - Hand in Hand, a photo by paynehollow on Flickr.

Nelson Mandela died today. I think his Prisoner to President story is one of the most powerful of the 20th century. He certainly was not a perfect man, but I think he was a great man in a great movement. Some of his words...

"If you want to make peace with your enemy, you have to work with your enemy. Then he becomes your partner."

“As we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.”

"There is no easy walk to freedom anywhere, and many of us will have to pass through the valley of the shadow of death again and again before we reach the mountaintop of our desires."

"We must use time wisely and forever realize that the time is always ripe to do right."

"If there are dreams about a beautiful South Africa, there are also roads that lead to their goal. Two of these roads could be named Goodness and Forgiveness."

"In my country we go to prison first and then become President."

Rest in well-earned peace, sir.

10 comments:

Atticus C. said...

Hi Dan,

Is this where you are blogging now? I used to read your other blog, but just found this one.

Dan Trabue said...

Yes, this is my main blog, now, although I've been quite busy with other things lately.

I decided to let the "Payne Hollow" blog be just for writings by naturalist and painter/writer, Harlan Hubbard, who wrote the book, Payne Hollow, or, Life on the Fringe of Society...

Marshall Art said...

Always thought Mandela's status as "great man" was more than a bit overblown. Context, always put forth as important in considering the past, is typically forgotten or ignored with regards to this man. I had considered expounding on this in a post at my own blog, but Selwyn Duke does a nice job, first here, then here.

Dan Trabue said...

Okay, let it be known that "Marshall Art," a sometime blogger of the early 21st Century, finds the accomplishments of the man who led an oppressed people into ending the atrocity known as Apartheid to be unimpressive.

With that note, Marshall, this is not a place for you to denigrate this great leader. Take it elsewhere.

When you have freed an entire oppressed people - largely non-violently, THEN you can come back and tell us what little importance there is in Mandela's legacy. Not until then, though.

Thanks.

Marshall Art said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Dan Trabue said...

Marshall posted some off topic commentary and was deleted.

Marshall, you will note that the post here was just a memorial of a great man. No where did I ask the question: What was your opinion of this world leader, a man who changed the world for the better (and only a fool would say the end of Apartheid has not made the world a better place)? This is not a post to debate the relative greatness of Mandela. If you'd like to discuss that, do so on your blog, this is not the place for it.

I have not come to your blog on Reagan's death to dump on his memory or any fond memories you may have of him.

Have some respect.

And again, when you have changed history for the better, I will allow you to comment on this post.

If and when I ever create a post asking for opinions about Mandela's legacy, you can speak on topic then.

Dan Trabue said...

Some are thinking this is a post where I've invited people to criticize demonstrably great leaders who have recently died. It is not.

I have an incredible track record of not deleting comments (with only a very few exceptions), but speaking ill of the dead is not going to happen on this post.

You have been duly notified.

Marshall Art said...

But you speak ill of Reagan all the time. You are lying again. You also lie about the greatness of Mandela. You also lie about deleting comments (unless you mean you do it a lot), as you've deleted a host of mine

MickyW said...

Marshall Art, as a white South African who grew up during the 70's and 80's, I can tell you that Selwyn Duke has a lot to learn about South African history. Even the white-centred version we learned at our whites-only schools contained at least the basic facts; facts entirely re-written by Duke in the first article (I confess I didn't bother reading the second, as the first was so laughably ignorant). He then contends that, post apartheid, the country should have been partitioned. I can only assume he is making some kind of joke, seeing as how apartheid was a literal partitioning of the land, as well as the resources. The word actually means "separateness" and was physical separation as well as unequal treatment. Did you know that black people had to carry a letter of permission to be in a white area? That they had their own self-governing "homelands"? And on what basis would Duke propose that the country be partitioned? Does he know something that the architects of apartheid did not, when they did exactly what he is proposing?

And of course we all know how well partitioning has worked elsewhere; Northern Ireland, Israel etc.

In any event, Nelson Mandela is not revered so much because of what he did before going to prison, but what he accomplished thereafter. You have no idea how close the country came to civil war in 1994, thanks to the actions of people who, like Selwyn Duke, wanted to hang onto power. Mandela could so easily have chosen the route of victorious revolutionary. Instead, he forgave his captors and reached out to his former enemies. You guys love to point out that he was a Marxist and founded a revolutionary organisation. Yes, he was and he did. But given that South Africa today is not even remotely communist, is a democracy, and has a free market economy that is far more free than during apartheid (which was socialism for whites), perhaps those observations belong to the "interesting but no longer relevant" section of history. After all, despite Duke's implication, the west was hardly supportive of the African nationalist movements. Mandela and other leaders of the movements opposing apartheid knew who their real friends were.

Dan Trabue said...

Well stated, Micky. Nothing like real experience and facts to help with conversations.

Marshall, this is a memorial post to honor a great man's parting.

It is not a post asking for your opinion of Mandela's legacy.

One does not post rude, derogatory comments at a memorial. I did not do so for Reagan. I have made comments about Reagan's policies on posts that were evaluating Reagan's policies.

Do you see how that works?

Good God, man. Have a little decency and respect.