We all love, but most of us do it selectively.
We all find our moments of forgiveness, but most of us do it inconsistently.
Nelson Mandela’s greatest quality, I believe, was his persistence. The greatest catalyst for positive change in South Africa was Mandela’s persistent love for his former oppressors and his insistence on forgiveness of past actions.
He was famously quoted as saying: “Do not judge me by my successes, judge me by how many times I fell down and got back up again.” (A variation of a Confucius quote: “Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall.”) When he said this Mandela showed the importance he placed on persistence.
Never. Give. Up. Never stop loving. Never stop forgiving.
He was a great soul because he did it more persistently than the rest of us with our spotty love/forgiveness records. He was a great soul because he worked harder at it than the rest of us who succumb so easily to the temptation to resent.
May his great soul inspire the rest of us to persist, lovingly.