Don’t Give Up

During 27 years in prison, Nelson Mandela remained determined and dignified. Finally, after he was released from prison, he became the first democratically elected president of South Africa.

“We are too quick to give up,” he once said. “If we don’t fight to get up, we are giving up on something bigger—life.”

I heard Zamaswazi Diamini-Mandela, Mandela’s granddaughter, and Sahm Venter speak at Arts & Letters Live in Dallas on July 23, 2018.

Mandela “refused to give up his dignity,” said Venter, the editor of a new book of Mandela’s prison letters. “He just stood the course.”

His granddaughter said that some people believe that Mandela became determined and dignified in prison. However, she believes, “he matured, but he had integrity and he was consistent from the beginning. He was fundamentally the same person throughout his stay in prison.

“Today we live in a world in which respect and dignity are not at the top of the list for many people. We can learn from my grandfather’s example.”
–Joy

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