Explorations in Leadership
NEED RESPONSES FOR TWO STUDENT’S POSTS
This related for Module 10
(Read Mandela Part 11)
Response Posts: Respond to the posts of at least 2 other students. Each response should be at least 150 words. Statements like “I agree/ don’t agree” are not helpful unless they are supported with arguments and reasoning. Remember everyone’s right to freedom of speech and the importance of ensuring a safe environment by being respectful: we don’t criticize people, we argue thinking.
STUDENT’S POST #1
I think an obvious but vital common theme between the movie and the reading this week is completion, or things resolving and coming to fruition. Things were resolved for Mandela, for South Africa, and even for Francois in the film when his team won the World Cup. I don’t really enjoy sports and never seek out sports movies, but mixing the sociopolitical aspects of Mandela’s presidency with rugby really made the film unique and you could tell that Francois seemed to understand that them winning the world cup had political roots and that Mandela was using sports to bond people, even though I don’t recall Mandela ever explicitly saying such things to Francois, they just made a good powerful team and I think such an exciting event for the New South Africa perhaps lightened the hearts of the people and did serve as a way to bond people or at least begin to break down barriers between pro-apartheid people and the rest of the country. It was kind of sad reading about Mandela couldn’t really do all the things he wanted to right after he got out of prison. All he really wanted was to visit Qunu, and become a normal person again, go to work, come home, and lead a relatively normal life with his family. I also really liked the Francois story and the Springboks as a whole, it’s just such a simple story but is so impactful. It was interesting seeing Francois try to convince his team of 16 or so to be more open-minded, learn a new song, etc., and struggle so greatly because that’s essentially what Mandela had to try to do with an entire country.
STUDENT’S POST #2
The biggest theme I see throughout our film and movie this week was forgiveness. Not only was the concept of forgiveness something Mandela had to work through as he reentered the world and worked to rebuild South Africa, but it was also something each citizen dealt with as they worked to heal during one of the harshest times in the nation’s history. Focusing on Mandela, while he seemed to embrace forgiveness with ease the journey to get there must not have been easy. After visiting Mandela’s cell at Robben Island, François shared that he didn’t understand how Mandela could have spent almost thirty years trapped in such a small cell, “and come out ready to forgive the men who put him there”. Later on discussing this more Mandela discussed how he had to work through those emotions while behind bars. He took time to talk with, read about, and understand his enemy and overtime with more knowledge on them he was able to forgive. While it was most likely a difficult and emotional path he knew that he first had to let go and forgive in order for both him and the country to start healing. I think that’s why he was such a perfect leader for South Africa. His willingness to forgive so easily as well as his abilities to emotionally connect, understand, and influence people’s emotions made him the exact example the country needed. While many others sought to get rid of or undo everything that Afrikaners and white South Afrikaners had done, he knew that the erasing of that part of their history would not only encourage people to hold on to their grudges but would also alienate certain community members, putting the country right back where it was before. South Africa needed unity most and in order to get their they had to forgive. As Mandela shared to his security officer, “Forgiveness starts here. It heals the soul and it removes fear”.
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