Throughout the week, I felt that I should write something about Nelson Mandela.  But, what? 

Today, the reader in me is thankful to learn that Mandela was inspired by a book. 

During Mandela’s years in prison, a copy of The Complete Works of William Shakespeare was smuggled in, disguised as a Hindu Bible. That book became well-worn as it was shared among 33 prisoners, including Nelson Mandela. According to this article on, Mandela credits this reading with being a source of personal strength and helping to shape his ideas on leadership; both what it should and should not look like.

Here are some of those ideas to consider as the world celebrates the life and impact of this great man:

For to be free is not merely to cast off one’s chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others.

Lead from the back — and let others believe they are in front.

A fundamental concern for others in our individual and community lives would go a long way in making the world the better place we so passionately dreamt of.

Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.

Rest in peace, Nelson Mandela. Rest in peace.


What are you thankful for?

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