Saturday, 7 December 2013

ave atque vale

Nelson Mandela 1918-2013

A truly great man now gone, but what a legacy for us all.  As he left Robben Island where he had been imprisoned for twenty seven years, he said he realised he had to forgive those who had imprisoned him or they would still have power over him.    The essence of forgiveness.

It is difficult for  most of us to understand just what apartheid meant to  those in South Africa and what an evil construct it was.  Those who  spoke against it at the time were punished.  I remember a lecturer in the English Department at Sydney Uni in the 1960s who thanked the South African Government for giving him time to write a book on Shakespeare.  He had written it in prison where he, a white man, was being punished for speaking out against apartheid.  The book was smuggled out for publication.

Ave atque vale.  Hail and farewell.

1 comment:

2paw said...

He was a great man: That he could endure so much and still forgive.