Fri07252014

Last updateWed, 19 Nov 2014 8pm

   2014 39.95 HSD w VIDor PH-Banner2-500-x-125

A legacy of forgiveness and friendship

High school subjects are familiar to most of us. There is algebra, a foreign language, P.E., history, and government, to name a few. However, in 1974, my high school added one called “Modern World History.”  It was an examination of selected topics from World War I until the present. Our teacher was Colonel (Ret) Gordanier and he had been to just about all the places he taught about and that perhaps is why he gave special attention to South Africa. It had left a strong impression on him.

We learned about the Zulus and the Boers. And we also learned about Apartheid. It’s safe to say that none of us had ever heard of it, but in the few weeks we studied the country and its harsh system of racial degradation, our reaction was pretty much the same. How, in 1974, did a system like this exist? Of course, we railed against, questioned it, but like most high school students, after we took the midterm, we moved on. But, in South Africa the struggle against this oppressive system had another 18 years to run.

At about that time, a man who few people outside South Africa had ever heard of, was serving his tenth year at Robben Island Prison. His name was Nelson Mandela. He had been sentenced to life at this remote detention center and as one of his peers noted, “…in those days life meant life.”  Remarkably, Mandela survived and equally remarkable, though allowed relatively little contact with the outside world, he was able to smuggle out occasional notes and reflections from his Robben Island jail cell. Over time, more people in South Africa and around the world started to learn who he was.

Nelson Mandela died last week. He was 95 and had spent nearly a third of his life in prison. He argued for freedom and the end of Apartheid. However, he did so in a way that made it difficult for his jailers to demonize him. He talked about human dignity and right along with that about forgiveness and a future of cooperation and brotherhood. Mandela, as his name became more politically charged was offered release on two different occasions. He turned them both down. He wasn’t released until 1990.

When finally the South African white run government decided it was time to move towards majority rule, it was Mandela who led the negotiations on behalf of the African National Congress. In 1993, just three years out of prison, he was elected President. What defined his term as President was his commitment to reconciliation. There would be no revenge seeking, no getting even with the whites, and no abuse of power. His message was forgiveness and friendship. Mandela once noted, that when you’re in prison, “they” can take away everything, but they can’t take away your heart and your mind. That is, unless you give them away. He resolved never to part with them. Which, for the happiness and health of a nation, and a powerful message to people everywhere, is his great legacy.

201407chamber

 

201407source

201404getaway

 

201401kgpr

Contact Us

The Journal Press, Inc. P. O. Box 409, 10250 Kings Hwy. King George, VA 22485

EditorialAdvertisingOffice
Jessica Herrink, Publisher

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Carla Gutridge
540-709-7061
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Leonard Banks, Production
540-469-4196
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Leonard Banks, Sports editor
540-469-4196
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Steve Detwiler
540-709-7288
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Drue Murray
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Phyllis Cook
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Charlene Franks
540-709-7075
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Linda Farneth,
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Elizabeth Foreman,
540-709-7076
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Charlene Franks, Accounts
540-709-7075
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Richard Leggitt
540-993-7460
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Bonnie Gouvisis
540-775-2024
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Lori Deem, Church & Community
540-709-7495
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Advertising Information
540-775-2024
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Jessica Herrink
540-469-4031
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Journal Print Shop

Contact Steve Detwiler

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

540-709-7288 • 540-775-2024

Quikey

Bulletline

link4

Your Invitation Place

Balloon House