When Bill Clinton met Nelson Mandela for the first time, he had a question
on his mind: "When you were released from prison, Mr. Mandela," the former
President said, "I woke my daughter at three o'clock in the morning. I
wanted her to see this historic event." 

Then President Clinton zeroed in on his question: "As you marched from the cellblock across the yard to the gate of the prison, the camera focused in on your face. I have never seen such anger, and even hatred, in any man as was expressed on your face at that time. That's not the Nelson Mandela I know today," said Clinton. "What was that about?"

Mandela answered, "I'm surprised that you saw that, and I regret that the
cameras caught my anger. As I walked across the courtyard that day I
thought to myself, 'They've taken everything from you that matters. Your
cause is dead. Your family is gone. Your friends have been killed. Now
they're releasing you, but there's nothing left for you out there.' 

And I hated them for what they had taken from me. Then, I sensed an inner voice
saying to me:

'Nelson! For twenty-seven years you were their prisoner, but
you were always a free man! Don't allow them to make you into a free man,
only to turn you into their prisoner!'" 

 


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