Tag Archives: Nelson Mandela

Trauma, Community and Reflection: Mandela’s Long Walk towards Solidarity with All South Africans

By Fanie du Toit

Like a stubborn tree growing from the crevice in a rock face, reconciliation has to take root and survive in adverse conditions where the very idea may seem counterintuitive. Although there is almost always a need for it, there is seldom a moment where conditions appear “right.”

It is hard therefore to envision reconciliation, not least while the fighting continues. Leaders will lament reconciliation’s absence, but in the same breath proclaim its total impossibility. “Desirable in principle, but not realistic,” they would say. It is therefore worth asking how it transpired that South Africa’s political leaders did in fact decide to adopt reconciliation as a guiding principle for activism towards peaceful, yet radical change. Much of their ability to turn hearts towards reconciliation hinged on dealing reflectively with the trauma resulting from three decades of brutal conflict with those they were seeking to recruit as fellow activists. Continue reading

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Filed under Essay Dialogues, Social Trauma and Activism

Nelson Mandela: Before Prisoner-Beyond President

The costs of participating in—much less leading—movements for social change are always high.  I’m remembering Olson’s Logic of Collective Action and a slew of rational choice perspectives on why people do/don’t participate in protest, which can be a bit depressing for those who have great hopes for improving society through collective action.  Maybe the best way to inspire is to remember the “great ones” who have paid the cost and seen tremendous results come from their sacrifice.  Maybe that’s why this infographic (produced by www.bestMSWprograms.com to commemorate Nelson Mandela International Day) caught my attention.  Maybe it will provide a little spark for you too.

Click on the image below to see the full infographic.


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Filed under Daily Disruption