A lesson learned from Nelson Mandela


Ugh!   Don’t you just hate it when someone does something mean to you, or says something bad or unwarranted about you?

Yeah, none of us appreciate those experiences, but we all have a key decision that faces us- what do we do going forward with those negative thoughts we are feeling.

Yeah, you might have been wronged in some way by someone, but what good is it doing you to hold on to that bitterness?

Friends, forgiveness –it’s so hard to do, but so necessary.  Bitterness can directly lead to not only ongoing conflict with others, but it can cause us health problems and dampen our  joy of living.  I know, I’ve done that and it did me no good to keep it inside.

With all that in mind, I appreciate this excerpt and notes about forgiveness and Nelson Mandela from the book,  “Getting to Yes with Yourself” by William Ury.  It has been helpful for me to do a self-evaluation and I trust it will be worth it for you to consider  if you are harboring any resentment and bitterness toward anyone.  It really will do us no good to carry that weight around.
-“letting go of the past can be truly liberating. In a speech at the U.N. Former U.S. President Bill Clinton recalled a question he once asked Nelson Mandela. “Tell me the truth: when you were walking down the road that last time (as Mandela was released from prison due to a sentence from racial prejudice), didn’t you hate them?” Mandela replied : “I did, I am old enough to tell the truth. I felt hatred and fear but I said to myself, if you hate them when you get in that car, you will still be their prisoner. I wanted to be free and so I let it go..”
…By learning to accept and forgive his former jailers, Mandela inspired thousands of others to forgive too.
– Forgiving those who have wronged us does not mean condoning or forgetting what they did.    It means accepting what happened and freeing ourselves from its weight. The first beneficiary of forgiveness , after all, is ourselves. Resentment and anger tend to consume us and hurt us perhaps much more even than they that hurt us. Holding on to old resentments makes about as much sense as carrying our bags while traveling on a train; it only tires us out needlessly.”

Friends, Is there any one you need to forgive?

Is it time to let stuff that happened in the past, stay in the past and move forward in your life?

Is it time for you to experience freedom?


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