|Mandela's Prison Cell on Robben Island (Photo Credit: Paul Mannix/Wikipedia)|
By Richard Power
July 18th is Mandela Day.
Courage is not the absence of fear, it is the force that leads you into and through the fear.
Hope is not the absence of despair, it is the refusal to condemn the future to the rule of the past.
If you doubt me, read Mandela's autobiography, Long Walk to Freedom.
Here is an excerpt from the great man's 1993 Nobel Peace Prize Acceptance Speech and a photo of the prison cell on Robben Island, in which he survived for DECADES.
"We do not believe that this Nobel Peace Prize is intended as a commendation for matters that have happened and passed. We hear the voices which say that it is an appeal from all those, throughout the universe, who sought an end to the system of apartheid. We understand their call, that we devote what remains of our lives to the use of our country's unique and painful experience to demonstrate, in practice, that the normal condition for human existence is democracy, justice, peace, non-racism, non-sexism, prosperity for everybody, a healthy environment and equality and solidarity among the peoples. Moved by that appeal and inspired by the eminence you have thrust upon us, we undertake that we too will do what we can to contribute to the renewal of our world so that none should, in future, be described as the 'wretched of the earth.'"
Do you know why 350 is the most important number in your life and the lives of everyone you love? Go to 350.org for the answer.
Richard Power is the author of eight books, including Humanifesto: A Guide to Primal Reality in an Era of Global Peril, Between Shadow and Night: The Singularity in Anticipation of Itself and True North on the Pathless Path: Towards a 21st Century Yoga. Power writes and speaks on spirituality, sustainability, human rights, and security. He blogs at Words of Power and Primal Words of Power, and is a member of the Truthout Board of Advisors. He also teaches yoga.