Reflections on the passing of Nelson Mandela. Photography by Adrian Steirn

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Nelson Mandela © Adrian Steirn

I had the great fortune to visit Robben Island in South Africa and see for myself the prison cell in which Mandela was incarcerated for 18 years. It was tiny. Bare walls and bars. When you have nowhere to go – you go inwards – and that’s what Mandela did. Emerging from his sensory deprivation chamber in 1996 with a message of forgiveness is probably his greatest personal achievement, and in the process; his greatest gift and legacy to the world. He changed the world by first changing his world. Branded Terrorist, Freedom Fighter, Statesman and Saint is not accurate testimony: it attests more to the fickleness of human labels. We all project our prejudices, fears, hates, and various hues of our own shadow material onto one another in the quest to be proven righteous. All this results in, at best, is misery and misunderstanding and, at worst, death and destruction. Everything, good or bad, starts with the self. Mandela made his choice and made it his message to the world.  Choose forgiveness.

For a short documentary about Mandela – his life, legacy and the photographs taken by Adrien Steirn, please visit his site. Link: “http://www.21icons.com/twentyone-icons/short-films/nelson-mandela”>http://www.21icons.com/twentyone-icons/short-films/nelson-mandela</a&gt;

And of course 🙂

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