Monday, November 26, 2012

Two Great Leaders: Mandela and the Dalai Lama

One passage that was particularly remarkable and powerfully written was passage 8 of Nelson Mandela's Nobel Peace Prize speech on page 630 in the Essay Connection.

"The children must, at last, play in the open veld, no longer tortured by the pangs of hunger or ravaged by disease or threatened with the scourge of ignorance, molestation and abuse, and no longer required to engage in deeds whose gravity exceeds the demands of their tender years."

Mandela's writing here seems remarkably similar to Martin Luther King Jr.'s in his Letter From Birmingham Jail in it's similar strategy to use children, pure and innocent, to shed light on how dark the black evil of prejudice has become. Besides this the writing is very compelling through its use of words like "gravity" in a context that is somewhat peculiar for the term.

One thing I found that was interesting about Mandela was that he held a political office while imprisoned and also got degrees while imprisoned. It makes sense that he quoted Dr. King, because many of their circumstances were very similar. For one they were both imprisoned for things that they believed in, though Mandela was behind bars for a quite a bit longer than Dr. King having been imprisoned for 28 years.

Interesting Facts About Nelson Mandela

The Dalai Lama is a religious figure and the leader of Tibet. He is thought to be a reincarnation of a Bodhavissta which is an enlightened being in Buddhism. He created tensions with China by trying to gain independence for Tibet which China believes to be a western province, and not, by any means, a separate country. Admirably, he has worked for this goal peacefully, using nonviolent methods as an attempt to gain independence for his homeland of Tibet. Although the Chinese are unwilling to cooperate.

Resposibility leads to enlightenment.


  1. Excellent thoughts and research here, as well as a comparison to another very well written piece of work performed by Dr. King. I think the strategies that they used were both equally devastating to their audiences.

    As well, our Dalai Lama man is similar to Aung San Suu Kyi, in his methods of reform! Good stuff my friend.

  2. Great comparison to Martin Luther King Jr. Also your passage of choice was great as well, and great research of the Dalai Lama.


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.