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Theology e-magazine To make humanity united in worshipping God

Long Walk to Freedom Our Heavenly Patron

The month of August comes to us with thoughts of struggles
for freedom and the father of our nation Gandhiji has inspired
many to take such long march to freedom. We have in this issue
an African story of such a march. The note that follows are
Mandela’s own words taken from his varied diaries.
Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela (18 July 1918 - 5 Dece
2013) was a South African anti-apartheid revolutionary,
politician, who served as President of South Africa from 1994 to
1999. He was the country's first black head of state and the first
elected in a fully representative democratic election. His
government focused on dismantling the legacy of apartheid by
tackling institutionalized racism and fostering reconciliation.

Do not run away from your problems, face
them! Because if you do not deal with them,
they will always be with you. Deal with the
problem which arises; face it courageously.
From a conversation with Richard Stengel
To be alone in prison is a difficulty. You must

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never try it. From a conversation with Richard Stengel

Mandela (466/64) served 27 years in prison, initially
on Robben Island, and later in Pollsmoor Prison and Victor
Verster Prison. Amid growing domestic and international
pressure, and with fears of a racial civil war, President F. W. de
Klerk released him in 1990. By this time he has been regarded
as an icon of freedom movement.

The Mandela and de Klerk
negotiated an end to apartheid
process of
and organised the 1994
illusion and multiracial general election in
disillusion which Mandela led the ANC to
victory and became President.
ment is part
Mandela Emphasized
of life and
 reconciliation between the country's racial groups
goes on
 created the Truth and Reconciliation Commission to
endlessly. investigate past human rights abuses
 introduced measures to encourage land reform, combat
From his poverty,
unpublished  expanded healthcare services.
autobiographical Internationally, he acted as
 mediator in the Pan Am Flight 103 bombing trial
written in
 served as Secretary-General of the Non-Aligned
Movement from 1998 to 1999.
He declined a second pr esidential ter m and in 1999
was succeeded by his deputy, Thabo Mbeki. Mandela became an
elder statesman and focused on combating poverty and HIV/
AIDS through the charitable Nelson Mandela Foundation.

There is no passion to be found playing small - in settling for a
life that is less than the one you are capable of living.
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Mandela, Madiba!!!
Mandela was a controversial figure for much of his life. Widely regarded as an
icon of democracy and social justice, he received more than 250 honours—
including the Nobel Peace Prize—and became the subject of a cult of personality.
He is held in deep respect within South Africa, where he is often referred to by
his Xhosa clan name, Madiba, and descr ibed as th e "Fath er of the
Nation". The chains of the body are often
wings to the spirit. As Shakesph er e in
As You Like It puts there same ideas
somewhat differently;
Sweet are the uses of adversity
Which like a toad, ugly and venomous.
Wears yet a precious jewel in the head?

Do or Die ?
Only armchair politicians are immune from committing mistakes, errors are
inherent in political action. Those who have to deal with practical and pressing
problems are afforded little time for reflection and no precedents to guide them. .
But in due course and provided
they are flexible and prepared to examine
their work self critically, they will acquire
the necessary experience and foresight
that will enable them to avoid the
ordinary pitfalls and pick out their way
ahead amidst the throb of events.

I have no right whatsoever to judge others ...
I came to accept that I have no right whatsoever to judge others in terms of
my own customs, however much I may be proud of such custom, that to despise
others because they have not observed particular customs is a dangerous from of
chauvinism. I shall neither impose my own customs on others nor
follow any practice which will offend my comrades, especially
now that freedom has become so costly.
From his unpublished autobiographical manuscript written in prison.
Fight till the last breath Page - 04

A new world will be won not by those who stand at a distance with their arms
folded, but by those who are in the arena, whose garments are torn by storms and
whose bodies are maimed in the course of contest. Honour belongs to those who
never forsake the truth even when things seem dark and grim…who are never
discouraged by insults, humiliation and even defeat.
From a letter to Winne Mandella, dated 23 June 1969
I am convinced that floods of
personal disaster can never
drown a determined
revolutionary n or can the
cumulus of misery that accompanies
tragedy suffocate him.
To a freedom fighter hope is what a
From a letter to Winne
life belt is to a swimmer – a guarantee that
Mandella , dated 1 August 1970.
one will keep afloat and free from danger.

One issue that deeply worried me in
prison was the false image that I unwittingly
projected to the outside world; of being
regarded as a saint. I never was one, even on
the basis of an earthly definition of a saint as a
sinner who keeps on trying.

Multi racialism or Non Racialism
We have never accepted really multiracialism. Our demand is for a nonracial
society, because when you talk of multi racialism, you are saying you have in this
country so many races.
We discussed and said exactly what
we are saying, that we are not multi-
racialist, we are non-racialist.
We are fighting for a society where people
will cease thinking in terms of colour…it is
not a question of race...It is question of
If a man can challenge a law and go to jail and come out ,
Page - 05 that man is not likely to be intimidated. Fr om a
conversation with Richard Stengel

Cell is an Ideal Place !!!
We know Incidentally you may find that the cell is an ideal place to
that learn to know yourself, to search realistically and regularly the
contact is process of our own, mind and feelings. ...honesty, sincerity,
simplicity, humility, pure generosity, absence of vanity, readiness to
the best
serve others are the foundation of one’s spiritual life.
way of
convincing Development in matters of this
nature is inconceivable without
serious introspection, without
From a
knowing yourself, your weakness and
mistakes…never forget that a
with Richard
saint is a sinner who keeps on
Stengel trying. Fr om a letter to W inne
Mandella , dated 1 Feb 1975

I have fought against white domination, &
against black domination. I have cherished the ideal of
a democratic, free society in which all persons will live
together in harmony with equal opportunities. It is an
ideal which I hope and to see realised. But my Lord, if
needs be, it is an ideal for which I am prepared to die.-
Defence statement during Rivonia Trial, 1964

We deal, not with Gods… As I walked out the door
In real life we deal, not with gods, but with
toward the gate that
ordinary humans like ourselves; men and
women who are full of contradictions, who are would lead to my
stable and fickle, strong and weak, famous and freedom, I knew if I did
infamous, people in whose bloodstream the
not leave my bitterness
muckworm battles daily with potent pesticides.
From a letter to Winne Mandella , dated 9 and hatred behind, I’d
Dece 1979. still be in prison.
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4 Principles for Every Leader.
1) That there are good men and women in all communities. The duty of a
real leader is to identify those good men and women and give them tasks of
serving the community.
2) That a true leader must work hard to ease tensions, especially when
dealing with sensitive and complicated issue. Extremists normally thrive when
there is tension, and pure emotion tends to supersede rational thinking.
3) A real leader uses every issue, no matter how serious and sensitive, to
ensure that at the end of the debate we should emerge stronger and more united
than never before .
4) In every dispute you eventually reach a point where neither party is
altogether right or altogether wrong. When compromise is the only alternative for
those who seriously want peace and stability.
From a personal file- Notes at a meeting in Arusha, Tanzania, During the
Burundi peace process, 16 January 2000.

Capt. Larbi says that the country’s elite must be made to realize
that the masses of the people, however poor and illiterate they might be,
are country’s most important investment.
From a notebook.

Our Priorities...
We pass through this world but once and opportunities you miss will never
be available to you again. Fix your aims and objections in life and as a general rule,
as far as possible never deviate from it. From a notebook.
 Our strength lies in discipline
 Right to peaceful demonstration
 Forces of democracy
 Not of revenge. Keep in state of readiness.
 Whatever we do must be within the peace process. We cannot allow ourselves to
be accused of violating peace process. From a note book.
Priority is commitment to the oppressed. We will fall or rise
depending on our success or failure to address their needs, to
accommodate their aspirations. Fr om a note book 14.5.1993
Qualities for a Good Leader Page - 07

Leaders fully appreciate;
 that constructive criticism within the structures of the organization,
 however sharp it may be, is one of the most effective methods of addressing
internal problems…
 that if a comrade is to express his views freely there must be no fear of
marginalization, or even worse, of victimization.
It is grave error for any leader to be oversensitive in the face of
criticism, to conduct discussions as if he or she is a school master
talking to less informed and inexperienced learners.
 leader should encourage and welcome a free and unfettered exchange of views.
 no one should ever question the honesty of another comrade, whether he or she
is a leader or ordinary member.
As we are liberated
from our fear, our
presence automatically
liberates others.

His first task is to create a vision. The followers know where they are
His second is to create a following to going because the leader has
help him implement the vision and to communicated and they have bought
manage the process through effective into goal he had set as well as the
teams. process of getting there.

The ideals we cherish, our fondest dreams and fervent hopes may not be
realized in our lifetime. But that is beside the point. The knowledge that in your day
you did your duty, and lived up to the experience of your fellow men is in itself a
rewarding experience and magnificent achievement. From a letter to Sheena
Duncan, dated 1 April 1985.
Victory in a great cause is
measured not only reaching the final
goal. It is also a triumph to live up to
expectations in your life time.
From a letter to the Rev. Frank
Chikane, dated 21, August 1989.

Editor: Tony Maliyekal VC Published from Vincentian Vidyabhavan, Aluva.