� Mandela. What a man. He comes out of prison after spending 30 years locked up in a cage and says � "Let's put that behind us. Cuz we need to move on."
I mean, even Dostoevsky, the man who wrote the book on punishment (literally) ..
.. and who certainly knows his shit when it comes to suffering ..
.. even he only did 4 or 10 years, depending whether you consider his forced military service a form of incarceration.
Now if you gave me a choice, I would choose Robben Island over Siberia, sure. But not if it came with 30 years attached. Feel me?
"Siberia, here we come. Where's my ski parka? Pass the hot chocolate, comrade. Where do they keep the Jacuzzi? Shut the window, will ya? I feel a draft coming in."
� Of All Time
That's why I put Mandela up there with Gandhi and the other greats. Of all time. Ever. (Or "ev-vuh," as they say in Brooklyn.)
Cite whatever history book you like. Declare your favorite century. Bring your champion. We will throw his ass in the slammer and come back in 30 years.
Oh, look! Vegas odds-makers are betting that your champion will be a broken man when we return in 2043. Drooling on a bib. Babbling incoherently.
Because thirty years in a cage is a long-ass time. (I did but a few days and already I was climbing the walls.) Still want to bring your boy?
You dont want to be standing in a moral boxing ring with Mandela on the other side.
Huge shoes. Almost super-human. The results. The demonstration.
The flexing of his muscle. And the *way* he did it. Like he came from a different planet.
In this photo here .. to your right, where Mandela is handing the trophy to Francios ..
.. is such a great moment, because it follows a much earlier conversation, where Mandela basically tells Francois,
"Dude, I need you to win the World Cup .. to keep our country from fragmenting."
And you can almost hear Francois saying to Mandela, "You said to win the World Cup, right?"
And it's like neither one of them can really believe it .. but lookie here at this trophy.
When I think of Nelson Mandela, I am reminded of what Peter said to Cornelius, the Roman centurion.
And also what the Psalmist said.
� Successfully Resisting the Megalomania the Comes with Deification
Let me quote for you from the eloquent Zakes Mda, who describes Mandela as � ".. the universally adored elder statesman who successfully resisted the megalomania that comes with deification."
How do you *do* that? How do you resist (successfully) the megalomania that comes with deification?
Do you first have to spend 28 or 30 years in prison? On Robben Island? Or get nailed to a tree? Maybe you need to read poetry in prison.
I took a lesson from Mr. Mandela and memorized Invictus before I went to jail (.. both times). I figured, "Hey, it worked for Mandela, right?"
Whatever the trick, the new pope seems to have figured it out. Because, when I think of the new pope, I think of � what Paul wrote to the Philippians. And what Mark wrote.
I dare you to read this passage and NOT think about the new pope.
Whether or not the new pope is successful .. where others have failed .. remains to be seen. But one thing has become clear � the shit is on. Yes, the shit is on, dawg.
I love this photo .. because it shows the genuineness of their love for the man. Arms high and wide.
You reckon those gals might be glad to see him?
I find it interesting that Mandela's tribal forename [ Rolihlahla ] is colloquially translated � Troublemaker ..
.. because Einstein could also be a rebellious shit. Definitely Tolstoy.
So was Jesus .. from what I can see. (American Christians need to be more like Jesus. Because the money changers are at it again.)
Sometimes the old ways need to be shaken. Updated. Revised. Improved. Rebuilt. Restored.
[ If you are a regular, then you know that I resonate with many things that Mandela has said.
But none more strongly than � this.
Dostoevsky echoes a similar sentiment.
Jesus himself said that the whole kingdom of God is for � "such as these."
That's good company there. Jesus, Mandela and Dostoevsky. "Where you guys wanna go today? What should we do? Kick ass and take names of people who steal from kids?"
After you read these two quotes by Mandela .. go watch this video.
December 5th, by the way, the day Mandela died, was also the date Mandela was first arrested ('56). ]
I do what I consider my best writing .. when I am both inspired and out of my comfort zone. Mandela inspires me. And the 30 years he spent caged should make any compassionate person at least a little uncomfortable.