Don’t give up

December 9, 2013 | 10 comments


Nelson Mandela’s courage and steadfast commitment to his ideal is a rock of inspiration for me. No matter how terrifying the opposition, how hopeless success appeared, and how many enemies turned against him, he never gave up hope. He was willing to give his life for his convictions, and he did give his all for the benefit of millions to follow.

While doing some lecture work in South Africa over a decade ago, I visited a house he lived in during his early years. It was an unassuming small brick rectangular abode with a 6” concrete wall running through the middle parallel to the street in front of the house. The guide explained that the wall was to hide behind when the police drove by and shot bullets through the windows to kill Nelson and his family.

Nelson lived under constant attack. But he did not give up. He was hated, reviled, persecuted, imprisoned for 27 years in the prime of his life, but he did not consent to failure. He triumphed.

His ideal was correct, supported by divine law, and destined for fulfillment.

Success appeared about impossible during the fight for freedom, even hopeless…until it finally happened.

We can learn from his example.

Don’t give up. If the idea is right, it’s destined to win.

“It always seems impossible until it’s done.”

~ Nelson Mandela

10 thoughts on “Don’t give up”

  1. He is a modern day Joseph. Wrongly imprisoned, he came back to lead his country to freedom because he understood the power of forgiveness, and as you said, was courageous and committed.

  2. What a terrific example of real spiritual vision and leadership!

    Thank u for the post Evan.
    And as I understand it he received the Chriastian Science Monitor when it was a daily for a good deal of his imprisonment and he said it gave him hope. Thank you Mother Church!

  3. I have been particularly impressed by his conscious decision to leave hatred and resentment towards his oppressors behind him as he walked free from the prison cell.
    A monumental lesson in love and courage!

  4. What further impressed me was what Stephanie wrote above that Nelson also read the C/S Monitor which must have inspired him more so. Also another brave one that should lift every one’s conscience sky high was the bravery of that 16 year old Malala Yousefzie who fought for education for women against the Talibon. These two individuals should never be forgotten in human history.

  5. With his example, how could we ever think of anything as too much to forgive? Thank you for this and all comments.

  6. He definitely let his light shine. We need to let ours likewise. I too, appreciated learning that he received the Monitor. I’m wondering if the lectures were reprinted in those issues. That would have indeed been powerful. I wish they would reprint them again. There are so many ways WE can light up this world. I think this week’s lesson was also very powerful and reflected much Light.

  7. Mandela was a hero, steadfast, wise, clever. Uniting the oppositions!, inviting the leading women to lunch together, seated side by side..color and social distinctions to the wind! Things would never be the same.
    He was not allowed to have newspapers to read, except the CS Monitor. “the object of the Monitor is to injure no man, but to bless all mankind”, stated the founder, Mary Baker Eddy. After his success, he visited the US, and his first stop was to the Monitor office to express his gratitude.

  8. Mandela co-founded Spear of the Nation (MK) which BOMBED military installations and power plants.
    Mandela explicitly ordered and publicly supported these bombings. Mandela also stated that if these tactics failed, MK would resort to “guerilla warfare and terrorism”.

    Should we encourage this level of commitment?

    1. From my understanding, he revised his thinking later and adopted a forgiving, charitable stance toward his enemies. Time in jail softened him and caused him to realize that hate for hate was not going to work.

  9. As long as we are in this existence, we will make mistakes. Mandela may have made some human mistakes but that did not keep him from striving to be and being better. For me he stands for peace, persistence and loving your neighbor even when they do not seem to love you back. Even in his passing, Mandela’s light still shines. I choose to recognize this light and thank God for all the great lessons I am learning from his life. ‘As we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.’ Nelson Mandela

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