AMAZON

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Serious Thoughts: The Great Mandela

If you hate a person, you hate something in him that is  part of yourself. What isn't part of ourselves doesn't disturb us. ~ Hermann Hesse

He's a martyr.
He thinks he's a prophet
But he's a coward.
He's just playing a game.He can't do it,
He can't change it.
It's been going on for ten thousand years.
~ The Great Mandela

The single clenched fist lifted and ready,
Or the open hand held out and waiting.Choose:
For we meet by one or the other. ~ Carl Sandberg 


I was seeking a video of The Great Mandela to accompany a post I was in the process of writing. When I can upon the video below—which features the voice of Richie Havens as well as Peter, Paul and Mary—it stopped me cold. This video says more than I can ever say—and in a very powerful way.
Please take the short time required to watch all of it. Please.

The Great Mandela
(The Wheel of Life)
So I told him
That he'd better
Shut his mouth
And do his job like a man.
And he answered,
"Listen, father,
I will never
Kill another"
He thinks he's better
Than his brother that died.
What the hell does
He think he's doing
To his father
Who brought him up right?

Take your place on
The Great Mandela
As it moves through your brief moment of time.
Win or lose now,
You must choose now,
And if you lose you're only losing your life.

Tell the jailor
Not to bother
With his meal
Of bread and water today.
He is fasting
Till the killing's over.
He's a martyr.
He thinks he's a prophet
But he's a coward.
He's just playing a game.
He can't do it,
He can't change it.
It's been going on for ten thousand years.

Take your place on
The Great Mandela
As it moves through your brief moment of time.
Win or lose now,
You must choose now,
And if you lose you're only losing your life.

Tell the people
They are safe now.
Hunger stopped him.
He lies still in his cell.
Death has gagged his accusations.
We are free now.
We can kill now.
We can hate now.
Now we can end the world.
We're not guilty.
He was crazy,
And it's been going on for ten thousand years!

Take your place on
The Great Mandela
As it moves through your brief moment of time.
Win or lose now,
You must choose now.
And if you lose you've only wasted your life.

23 comments:

  1. Nick, the Herman Hesse quote is one I have seen in my own life -- not as hating a person, but being terribly annoyed by or angered by a trait that person displays. The faults in my children that drive me crazy are the faults I hate in myself. It emphasizes the fact that I cannot remove their speck while the log is in my own eye.

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  2. Excellent, Rev. Saint! May we see peace in out lifetime.

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  3. Yep, I agree with that Hesse quote...'cause I've recognised it in myself. Not that I hate the people with my faults, but they annoy the hell out of me. What does that tell you?

    Nelson Mandela is my hero...just a wonderful humanitarian and a very humble man. No one has done as much for peace as he has.

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  4. *sigh*

    Why can't we all just get along.

    Yaknow...Sandberg's simple truth is my experience. Which is why I try to go into the day with opened hands.

    Thank you, sir.

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  5. kcinnova : Yes, Hesse speaks a great truth, which is much more prevalent in life than I suppose most people realize. I can’r count the number of times I have heard a parent say something like “I don’t want my child to make the mistakes than I made.” And of course, in putting that pressure on the child the parent scripts the child to do those very things the parent regrets and fears.

    Azsonofagun: Thank you, Rex. May peace and justice come to all.

    Akelamalu : Thank you. That video really impressed me. The song is one of the most powerful songs for peace that I know and the graphics are superb.

    Puss-in-Boots : Yep, folks who evince in themselves the faults we perceive in ourselves can be very irritating to us. I wonder if that would change if we reevaluate those “faults” in our selves and either defined them differently or forgave ourselves for the “sins” we believe that we have committed?

    Mel: I sigh with you. Sandberg also speaks a great truth. It has always amazed me that if I walk down the street with a smile on my face how many smiling folks I encounter.

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  6. This is a wonderful post. I don't think that I had ever really listened to the words to that song before. They are very moving and powerful. Thank you, SSN.

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  7. Justice and peace - threatened commodities today.

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  8. That powerful song is beautifully done here, Nick. Thank you.

    I think that it should be required viewing before soldiers sign enlistment papers. And before presidents and their people decide to send soldiers and bombs to kill.

    Now I got myself laughing at my crazy idea...!

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  9. Thought provoking vid, Nick -

    What do you think the chances are that man (people-kind), will never not be at war somewhere on this earth? History & human nature tells us, not too good. :(

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  10. China Girl: You’re welcome. There are songs that I, too, hear without really hearing the lyrics. That’s why I have begun posting the lyrics to songs whenever I can.


    James Higham : Yes, they are very threatened. Unfortunately, I believe that they have been threatened in every generation.

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  11. Nick
    A great post and it would be nice to see the effects Peace has on the world. I must copy the quotes.
    Thanks for sharing. Oh, before I forget our old Lab would get 3 different kinds of treats for retriving the paper and no matter what order you put them in he would eat them only in a certain order. Peace be with you.

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  12. Carol: Yes, it is a powerful and, for me, a very moving song. I don’t think the idea is crazy; I do believe that it would resisted by the right wing war-mongers of this country.


    Rhapsody : Yes, The Great Mandela always gets the gears of my mind whirling. In my mind I picture the young man jailed and on a hunger strike. I feel his father’s anger and the chauvinistic hate of the people whose beliefs he threatens.
    World peace? Not yet, but may someday.

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  13. Lady Di Tn : Peace would be grand!

    So, Alex isn’t the only obsessive animal when it comes to eating treats! That’s good to know.

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  14. interesting quote by hesse, got me thinking, did that. thing is, i hated my step-mother and i'm pretty sure she is nothing like me.

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  15. Nick,thanks for this posting. I really enjoyed it and "Down by the Riverside" by Peter,Paul and mary.I have not heard that on in quite a while. This is why I treasure my visits with you.

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  16. The Hesse quote is one that I denied at first. But I realize now that it's true. One of things that realization did for me was to help me be more compassionate to others.

    In seeing the current conflict between Israel and the Palestinians it makes me think of the definition of insanity: Doing something the same way and expecting a different outcome. Do they really think that war ends war? Or that violence ends violence? Too bad.

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  17. The video really touched me, Nick. Thank you.

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  18. Oooh! Interesting! I was just reading about Mandalas in school!

    I'll have to see the video when I see it on the Mac. With sound and everything. Be back...

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  19. It would be nice but I have a strong feeling that this is going to be a very violent and harsh year.
    And I am afraid for us all.

    (woah! where did that come from)

    Greed is evil and man is very greedy.

    ( not quoting anyone just saying what comes into my head as I sit here)

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  20. Hi! Care to x-link? I have added you already in my list. Have a nice day! http://carlos-ideas.blogspot.com

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  21. Thanks, once again Nick for sharing such a powerful and on the mark piece.......to all Peace*Love*Light

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