I read a book a few years ago which had a profound effect on me. ‘Forgiveness – Breaking the Chain of Hate‘ by Michael Henderson looks at the lives of dozens of remarkable people of many nations and faiths who have been able to break the chain of hate through repentance and forgiveness. They included survivors of the Burma Road, the Siberian Gulag and Nazi atrocities. This for me is the key to life of Nelson Mandela which is being celebrated today. One of the most eloquent testimonies has been Archbishop Desmond Tutu, you can watch it below, but for me he identifies this remarkable inner transformation that took place in prison. To my ears it is similar to the transformation that can happen in the silence of the Spiritual Exercises of St Ignatius. ‘The crucible of prison added a deep understanding of the human condition and a profound ability to emphasize ….. like a most precious diamond honed deep beneath the surface of the Earth – The Madiba who emerged from prison in 1990 was virtually flawless. When you thing that he went to prison as an angry young man and he emerged as an icon of magnanimity and compassion‘. The whole interview is below: the first few minutes are dynamite!