“I was the symbol of justice in the court of the oppressor, the representative of the great ideals of freedom, fairness and democracy in a society that dishonored those virtues. I realized then and there that I could carry on the fight even in the fortress of the enemy.”
Nelson Mandela is a remarkable man who has walked a remarkable path. He was a man driven by an undying belief in human rights and held a steadfast conviction that “inclusivity, accountability and freedom of speech” were the fundamentals of democracy. His objectives in life were clear – he wanted freedom and fairness for all. He spent 27 years in an African island jail as a result of fighting for those principles, yet still battled just as strongly if not stronger for what he believed from inside the “fortress of the enemy.” Locked in a prison cell, he grew to become the most powerful symbol of the anti-apartheid movement.
Perhaps his vibrational energy intensified amidst the concrete and iron bars. When he was released in 1990, Nelson Mandela united a ravaged and divided country, won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1993, and was inaugurated as the first democratically elected, black president of South Africa in 1994. The vibrational frequency and fortitude to remain committed to his cause while held prisoner for nearly three decades is incredible. The manifestation of his time spent focused on his goals and cause could only result in something equally incredible. He was determination personified.
Even while enduring physical and mental abuse while incarcerated, Mandela did not stray from his allegiance to equality, democracy, and learning. He did not fight racism with more racism but strived for reconciliation and peace for all.
“I have fought against white domination, and I have fought against black domination. I have cherished the ideal of a democratic and free society in which all persons live together in harmony and with equal opportunities. It is an ideal which I hope to live for and to achieve. But if needs be, it is an ideal for which I am prepared to die.”
It is a great blessing to the world that Nelson Mandela did not have to die for his ideal but instead have his ideal live on long after he is gone, providing a brilliant example of forgiveness, strength, and compassion for all of us.
His long walk may come to an end, but the footprints he left behind will last for eternity.