If you want to read about an example of our finest values, I strongly recommend you read this book.
Post by Dr Jeff Brown
Someone I admire greatly is Nelson Mandela. I read his autobiography, The Long Walk to Freedom, last year. I was curious to read it mainly because when he was in jail, I was growing up in South Africa—I grew up in Johannesburg, did my degree in there, and graduated as a dentist in 1980.
While all that was happening in my life, Nelson Mandela was serving 27 years in prison. For ten years between the early 1950s and the early 1960s when he was imprisoned (for ‘inciting workers strikes and leaving the country without permission’), he had fought against Apartheid in South Africa as a lawyer and as apolitical activist. He was eventually released in 1990, when the political party he represented, the African National Congress, was formerly legalised by the government.
He had come from looking after cattle in his home village when he was a young boy. He was among the first members of his family to attend school, and yet grew up to be one of the most significant figures in the world.
Of course, within South Africa now, he’s considered the father of the nation and a symbol of moral authority. He and the South African President who freed him, F.W. de Klerk, jointly received the Nobel Peace Prize three years after his release. The next year he became President of South Africa. He’s sometimes been a controversial figure, but he’s received all kinds of international acclaim for what he’s achieved.
I didn’t know what was going on at the time and what had happened in Mandela’s life, and when I read about him now, I realise his courage to do what he did was unbelievable. Of course, the whole story resonated so much more because it had that personal relevance to me as well