Happy Birthday, Madiba!
As I walked out the door toward the gate that would lead to my freedom, I knew if I didn’t leave my bitterness and hatred behind I would still be in prison. ― Nelson Mandela
Today is Nelson Mandela’s 95th birthday. The world was worried he would not see this day, given his current state of health, but, here it is, he is here, and South Africa is celebrating.
When I visited Robben Island (the prison where Mandela spent 18 of the 27 years he served behind bars), what struck me most was how incredibly close it is to Cape Town ― and what a beautiful view of Table Mountain you have from the island. I imagine the prisoners would have been haunted by that view.
Mandela was allowed one visitor a year for 30 minutes, and could write and receive one letter every six months. The grace he has displayed since his release in 1990 is a testament to the healing power of forgiveness.