The word ‘Impact’ triggered just one thought in me – The impact of the books! There are many books that have had an impact on my life and my beliefs. In this post, I will share my views about one of my favorite books.
I maintain a journal in which I write about inspirations – Small, Big or Grand. I write about the dimples of the kid, the smile of the tea-seller, lessons of my life, quotes that I like and some lines from the favorite books. Here is an excerpt and a mix from the pages of my journal:
Mandela’s Way by Richard Stengel
The book was recommended by Richard Branson (Founder of Virgin Group) in one of his posts. Also, his book ‘Screw it,Let’s do it’ is a wonderful book 🙂 Do give it a read
Richard Stengel in his introductory note ‘A Complex Man’ explains the beginning of his connection with Nelson Mandela. According to him, Nelson learnt his best lessons in the prison. He threads together – fifteen lessons for us in this biography
Here is an overview of my favorite lessons :
The first lesson : Courage is not the absence of fear
Richard shares stories and insights about how Mandela chose to be courageous in his life. In 1980, Mandela and other prisoners were given a copy of Collected works of Shakespeare and were asked to mark their favorite passages. According to Mandela, the passage was simply ‘a statement of reality’
Here is the passage
Julius Caesar, Act 2, Scene 2:
Cowards die many times before their deaths;
The valiant never taste of death but once.
Of all the wonders that I yet have heard
It seems to me most strange that men should fear,
Seeing that death, a necessary end,
Will come when it will come
The line that clinched this lesson for me : ‘Remain steady under trying circumstances’
It’s a long game
When things overwhelm you, this little line could help your soul. It could work as a soup in need. Nelson Mandela stayed in the prison for twenty seven years!
Richard says ”If everyone has a natural distance – sprinting, middle distance, long distance- Mandela is a long-distance runner, a long-distance thinker. And prison was a marathon”
Whenever you talk about an issue or a problem, Nelson would sometimes say ”It will be better in the long run”. He recalls a story of Croesus asking a wise man if he could be considered happy. And the wise man replied ‘Count no man happy, until you know his end’
He believed that everything can change in the last chapter and one needs to stay the course, till the end to prevent something untoward from happening.
Find your own Garden
During his time in jail, Mandela planted a garden. He describes it as a soulful activity and one place where he loses himself to find himself. The outline of this lesson is that we all need to find at least one activity, something away from the world- that gives us pleasure and satisfaction.
The chapter ends with a line ‘You must find your own garden’
I have found my garden 🙂 Have you?