My Mandela Moments

In that airport lounge I remembered Nelson Mandela as I saw him on June 21, 1990. I had been privileged to be invited to a town meeting at City College. I can still feel the incredible excitement that took over when he walked, smiling and waving, onto the stage. But one of the moments I remember best was his exasperation at a question regarding his visits to Yasser Arafat, Fidel Castro and Muammar Gaddafi. "They support our struggle to the hilt," he sternly responded. And added, as the room erupted in applause, "any man who changes his principles according to whom he is dealing with that is not a man who can lead a nation." And a nation, he did lead, on a path that only he could imagine.

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