From Icon to Man: Nelson Mandela . . .

I try and read something first thing in the morning to inspire me. I probably only read about 10 minutes each morning but it sets a good tone for starting the day.

(Some days, I must admit, I get side-track with Facebook and my emails, but on my best days I go straight to my books.)

Right now I am reading a book called, “Conversations with Myself”. It’s a collection of letters and conversations documenting Nelson Mandela’s life before, during and after his incarceration.


I’m finding a lot of amazing surprises . . .

Moments of simple humility.

Moments of superhuman bravery.

A touching vulnerability.

Sadness of depths you don’t wish for any human being.

Words evident of unconditional love and empathy.

Actions that speak to broad priorities . . . more broad than most people ever have to consider.


The person who appears on these pages, of neatly written letters and transcripts of conversations, is fundamentally just a person. A person like you or I who can rise to have a powerful impact on the world.

I think sometimes we underestimate the power and impact we’re capable of. We don’t believe we can make a difference so we don’t even try.

Through Mandela’s own words I see emerging a whole, real person.

This book reminds me that Nelson Mandela is a lot more than icon – to be put on a pedestal.

As an icon we forget that he was a man.

He was real just like us.

For me there is a value in remembering that.


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