Of all his many gifts, the most remarkable was his ability to put resentment aside in favor of reconciliation. We so often think of Mandela as saintly, but he was a real flesh and blood person who had to fight the allure of anger long after he was freed. Nurse Vertical Poster. Every now and then, when someone tried to derail his efforts to build a shared future for South Africa, I would see that anger flare in his eyes, as if all the insults and injuries of those 27 years were playing back to him. But he would snuff it out in an instant before most people saw it. He knew that keeping his spirit free required forgiving, again and again.
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And he developed the discipline, will, and wisdom to do it. In 1998, when I made the first visit by an American President to South Africa, we toured Robben Island together. Nurse Vertical Poster. After seeing his cramped cell and the rock quarry where he labored every day, I was even more amazed by the man he was and the man he became. I said, “Madiba, I know you did a great thing by inviting your jailers to your inauguration and putting the leaders of the parties who had imprisoned you in your cabine but didn’t you hate them for what they had done?” He said, “I did hate them for many years. They had taken so much from me. They abused me physically and mentally. I didn’t get to see my children grow up. They jailed and killed my friends and allies.