For 27 years, Nelson Mandela was cut off from his family and friends and was imprisoned on a barren island off the coast of South Africa. Labeled a terrorist and condemned to a life sentence, Mandela fought the temptation to hate his enemy and instead sought to understand more about him. He even learned the language of his oppressor, Afrikaans.

It turned out to be good preparation, for after he was released from prison in 1990 and the apartheid era came to an end, Mandela was elected president in the country’s first fair and free election in 1994. Mandela used the opportunity ...

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