Honestly, I have only heard of him, seen him on tv a time or two, and always wondered, what would we talk about if we ever had the opportunity? My respect for him has grown since his release from prison in 1990, but I still don’t know as much about him as I’d really like to.
I knew he stood for what he believed, and he was thrown in prison for it. He was a global figure of peace and community. In an interview with Ted Koppel on February 15, 1990, shortly after his release from 27 years of imprisonment, he said, spending time in prison at the prime of your life is a tragedy. But there are po
sitive aspects; I had the opportunity to think about problems and to reflect on my mistakes, reading widely, biographies, how other men overcame their circumstances.
He was allowed to write one letter to his loved ones every six months, yet he held optimism, hope, and a faith for the future. I wonder how one maintains their positive outlook when things seem so bleak? How did he gain the respect of so many?
I admired him from far away, as many probably did. But when he was asked whom he had admired, he responded with three names: Mikhail Gorbechev, Ronald Reagan, and Mother Theresa for their efforts to relieve global tensions
Really, all I can say is thank you Mr. President Nelson Mandela. Thank you for being real to your values and sharing those with others. May you rest in peace, and may your family carry on your legacy.