Google+ Consumer Psyche: Long Walk to Freedom

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Sunday, July 20, 2008

Long Walk to Freedom

Journeys are often measured by distance travelled and time elapsed. But by which unit of measurement should one measure the journey of Nelson Mandela, from political prisoner to South Africa's first black President?

As a young man, Mandela became disenchanted with non-violence as a form of political protest, and, in 1961, he co-founded the Umkhonto we Sizwe (Spear of the Nation). The militant group coordinated a sabotage campaign against South African military and government targets, and even considered all-out guerrilla warfare should Apartheid not be lifted.


But, after being condemned to life imprisonment in 1964 and branded a terrorist, he saw the ultimate fruitlessness of using violent means to achieve peaceful ends. According to Mandela himself, Mahatma Gandhi became a major source of inspiration, and he soon inculcated the core tenets of satyagraha (the philosophy of non-violence).

Following his release from prison in 1990, this marked change in temperament allowed Mendela to pursue a policy of reconciliation and negotiation, rather than secession and violence. Ultimately, he became South Africa's first black President and helped the nation transition from a brutal, segregated sham-republic to a flourishing, multi-racial democracy. For his efforts, in 1993, Mandela would win what is arguably the world's most prestigious honour: the Nobel Peace Prize.

Today, on the occasion of his 90th birthday, we salute both the man and his Long Walk to Freedom.

Tiger salutes one of the few people who mastered 'Consumer Psyche'.

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