Belfast Telegraph

Monday 22 September 2014

Madiba was a victim but then showed humility

DURING the dark days of apartheid, Nelson Mandela and the ANC were regarded as terrorists in the Western world.

This was especially true of many of our own establishment leaders, including some of our Church leaders here in Northern Ireland.

But the passage of time, the growth of information and education and the example of Mandela himself has changed all that.

If we can learn about South Africa, surely we can also learn something from South Africa?

By common consent, we need a much greater degree of political reconciliation and inter-community peace and harmony here. But where is that remedy to be found?

Where is that Mandela-like largeness of heart and magnanimity; that humility and forgiveness that could achieve these things for ourselves?

They will not be found in the law, or in retributive justice, even if such 'remedies' were, in themselves, possible.

The answer will be found in our own hearts.

We should not use the issue of victimhood, sad though this is, as a cover for our inability to do the right thing.

Mandela was one of the greatest of victims but his Christian example has shown us the way.

WILLIAM BROWN

Loughbrickland, Co Down

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