Friday, December 6, 2013
Nelson Mandela, Winston Churchill, and Greatness
Reconciliation means working together to correct the legacy of past injustice. If you want to make peace with your enemy, you must work with your enemy. Then he becomes your partner.
Nelson Mandela (1918-2013), 1995
In War: Resolution. In Defeat: Defiance. In Victory: Magnanimous, In Peace: Good Will
Winston Churchill (1874-1965), Moral of the Work, The Gathering of the Storm (1948)
Nelson Mandela and Winston Churchill were the two greatest leaders of the past century.
Both spent years in prison or in the political wilderness. Both were defiant when down and out. Both resolved to triumph over their enemies. Both were magnanimous in victory. Both reconciled with their enemies and became their partners. Both showed good will during transition to peace.
Barack Obama might follow their example by forming a Reconciliation and Unity Commission to reconcile differences in the domestic war between Democrats and Republicans over the health care law and to incorporate both points of view in a modified or new health care law. That could be his legacy and his path to greatness.
Tweet: Nelson Mandela and Winston Churchill shared these two traits: magnanimity in victory and reconciliation and partnership with former enemies.