What Can We Learn from Nelson Mandela's Life?
Nelson Mandela's life is a lesson in commitment and the power of the human being. Sadhguru explains that "having gone through unspeakable levels of cruelty and injustice, in spite of that, not becoming bitter and hateful – this is the hallmark of Mandela – that he still lived laughing, joyful, not resentful." He looks at the need for society to create such incredible human beings, not in conditions of strife and injustice, but in joy and celebration.
This week… This week we have seen the end of a(n) era, in the form of Nelson Mandela’s death.
The significance of his life is not just political – of course, politically it is of great significance to that nation, but as a man, we have seen very few men like that in the last century.
And as many of you who do not know the history of this nation’s freedom struggle,
even India’s freedom struggle was incubated in South Africa. It is a certain affront to Mahatma Gandhi’s dignity, which the apartheid regime delivered, which ignited India’s spiritual (freedom?) movement in a big way.
It’s unfortunate that injustice, subjugation and many levels of cruelty generates wonderful men. We have to find a way - which is what is our effort –
to generate such men when there is no strife, when there is no subjugation, when there is no injustice.
We should incubate such men in joy, in celebration but largely, societies have failed to do that.
Because it is pain that becomes the most profound experience of most human life. Not joy, not love, not ecstasy – it’s the pain.
It is the profound of the… profoundness of that experience which spawns men of rare qualities of incredible strength and balance. Having gone through unspeakable levels of cruelty and injustice,
in spite of that, not becoming bitter and hateful this is the hallmark of Mandela that he still lived laughing, joyful, not resentful. That takes a certain quality for a man to do that.
Small things that you… that happen to people – they remember forever and they are resentful for their whole lives – for little things.
Not imparted by some cruel regime – small things that parents did to children, they remember and are resentful to the end of their life.
So, the end of his life must be a reminder for every one of us that you shouldn’t stand in a line of resentful people. You should stand alone in true freedom. Freedom doesn’t come because of political processes or economic processes. Freedom comes when nobody can incite an unnecessary quality in you, no matter what they do.
His eventful life has come to an end, it is for us to see that many more men like that are spawned on the planet not necessarily in the kind of situations that he was molded.
A spiritual process means just that – that the outside situations need not drive you,
the outside situations do not mold you.
You don’t have to be whipped by the world to be at your best you’re willing to whip yourself to be at your best. When it’s self-driven, we call it spiritual, when it is driven by somebody, it becomes slavery.