Playing the Enemy After reading playing the enemy, I must say I was actually pretty Jealous of those fortunate enough to get to meet and leave an Impression on the great man Nelson Mandela. The story was truly Inspirational and after reading was very glad I chose this book to read. I knew that Nelson Mandela was a great man and I knew only part of his story. I knew that he was the first black president that South Africa had seen, I also knew that he was jailed for man years (27 to be exact) and was the reason that the South African Apartheid was ended.
I was ignorant to the journey it took to get there and the millions of hearts he won over in his lifetime. It amazed me how throughout Mandela's life he was able to win over the hearts of almost everyone he spoke to. From what most may consider the lowest point of one's life, being locked away in prison, away from your family for 27 years, he was able to use this time to not only mellow down and forgive those who imprisoned him, but he also ended up befriending many of them. That to me spoke greatness upon his character.
I recall reading about when he first started learning about the game of cubby, he did so all with the sole purpose of becoming close with one of his new prison wards. When I first read this part In the story I thought there Is no way this could work... A big bad white South African man who obviously has many pre]delude against Mandela and his people, but somehow he was able to pull it off, whenever given the chance, Mandela would discuss rugby with him and eventually it paid off, he soon was living the life, he was given a hot plate... A freaking.
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The fact that a prisoner was able to pull that off was quite amazing. But it never stopped there. He was later moved out of his small little cell and was put into a little house. Then it went even farther when he was taken on drives around town and I think the peak of his prison privileges came when Mandela was allowed to go freely for walks. Throughout the book, Mandela causes people to fall for his charm and I know exactly how he was able to accomplish this. It Is all explained In this quote by himself... "If you talk too man In a language he understands, that goes to his head.
If you talk to him In his language, that goes to his heart. " In many cases this quote could be taken eternally. In many cases people would feel more comfortable with the future leader because he would actually speak to them in their native tongue which, to the South African Whites who were not his biggest supporters, was Afrikaans. Ironically he was able to learn this skill with all the time he had in prison. Other examples how this quote held true throughout the story was that he learned the "language" of rugby. Learning to understand and like rugby early on while in prison really ended up helping a lot in the long run.
I totally agree that when you find a common interest amongst enemies it is easier to unite and that is exactly what he did when he used the sport of rugby to unite a nation. The sport was more Important than I first presumed It to be. At first I believed the game to Just be a game. Unlike Mandela I did not see the correlation between rugby and unification If the races, especially when black South Africans would always root for whatever team there country was playing. I think another great thing I got from this book was that he was not only a great him they could tell there was something about him.
He Just had this way of neglecting with all types of people and a recurring theme amongst these interactions was that he had this smile. This smile that Just won over the world in my opinion. This warm gesture spoke a lot to me, how does one go through all he did and still come out smiling. I believe many people saw this and this was part why they trusted him as a leader. He was a symbol of hope to many and though not all will agree, I believe his actions say so much more than any media coverage can. Mandela did something no one else would probably of been able to achieve.
To say this book as a great read would be an understatement. This was one of the most inspirational stories I have read and I am glad that I read this. I went to this little project not really expecting to take anything from it, instead I came out with a new perspective of not just this great man, but also on the word I live and the situations I deal with in my own life. This really made any problem I have dealt with Just feel insignificant but I mean that in a good way. Now I feel more encouraged to turn my trials and tribulations into strength much as my new idol Nelson Mandela did.
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