Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Couldn't sleep

I couldn't sleep last night.
I'm reading this book, and it's a true story. In it this gentleman and his fellow law breakers are sentenced to life in prison on a small Island situated 6 miles off the coast of South Africa. Later it was described as South Africa's Alcatraz.
Robben Island.

The island is now a museum. Nelson Mandela, a former prisoner, made it so when he became President of South Africa.

Anyway, you knew all of this , but I just wanted to share one more thing I read last night. When Nelson Mandela was sentenced to life on the island he and his fellow political prisoner were given a cell of their own. My first thought was, that's cool, he didn't have to deal with 2 or 3 other guys in his cell. As it turns out, being alone in a cell was the worst thing they could have done to Mr. Mandela. You see, he's was the poster child for "people person."

He goes on to explain in his book, "Long Walk To Freedom" that his days were quite simple. The white guards would wake him up at 5:30 but would not take them to breakfast until 6:45. That time was used to clean their cell and empty the bucket that was in each cell that was used as their toilet.

The best part of Nelson Mandela's day was when all the prisoners would go to the spot where they would clean out their buckets. The guards, who were usually quite strict, would give them some distance because, well, the smell in that particular area wasn't very enticing. It was here that Mandela would get a few minutes to talk to friends.

A few minutes a day talking to friends in a rank area used for cleaning out sewage buckets, was the best part of Nelson Mandela's day.

I'm having friends over tonight. I just picked up the phone and called them.

I feel at times I don't appreciate how easy I have it. I guess that's why I couldn't sleep last night.


Formerly known as Frau said...

I's easy to take the little things for granted.
Sounds like a good read. Have a wonderful holiday season.

Anonymous said...

Merry Christmas! When it comes down to the brass tacks of life, we all have it pretty darned good. Enjoy this Holiday Season and the special times with your family and friends.

Wayne (Woody), whatever said...

You make a very good point, we have it very easy and a lot to be thankful for. Merry Christmas.

Karen said...

Sometimes we come across something like this book you are reading and it gives us a brand new appreciation for all that we have, all that is good, all that is truly remarkable. These things are gifts...

Merry Christmas, Mark & family -

Jerral Miles said...

You've got a good heart, Mark... and you make us all a little better. Thanks... Have a peaceful holiday.

Marilyn said...

Sometimes we forget how easy we have it. Nice post and Nelson Mandela was quite a special man.