The question most often asked about Mr. Mandela was how, after whites had systematically humiliated his people, tortured and murdered many of his friends, and cast him into prison for 27 years, he could be so evidently free of spite.
The government he formed when he finally won the chance was an improbable fusion of races and beliefs, including many of his former oppressors. When he became president, he invited one of his white wardens to the inauguration…
The explanation for his absence of rancor, at least in part, is that Mr. Mandela was that rarity among revolutionaries and moral dissidents: a capable statesman, comfortable with compromise and impatient with the doctrinaire.
When the question was put to Mr. Mandela in an interview for this obituary in 2007 — after such barbarous torment, how do you keep hatred in check? — his answer was almost dismissive: Hating clouds the mind. It gets in the way of strategy. Leaders cannot afford to hate.”
I ran in the Shanghai Half Marathon again this weekend, which was my second in the ‘hai and third overall. This year’s race was way better in terms of organization — a much needed and welcome improvement from the bottle throwing of last year’s race and complete lulz experienced during the Suzhou Half earlier this year. I caught myself grinning like an idiot throughout most of my run and loved high fiving random spectators, especially during the stretch of awesomeness starting from Nanjing Road that wound through the French Concession and went down Huaihai. Even more fun, of course, was the post-race Korean spa day spent with a bunch of my fellow sore-legged running friends.
The one major downside was the pollution. The AQI ranged from 200-270 while I was running and I saw people wearing face masks this year (which I didn’t really see at all last year). I didn’t wear one because I was worried about how it would affect my breathing during the race, but nevertheless I feel guilty for all the terrible-ness I put my lungs through. Sorry, lungs.
Anyway, as soon as these “sour muscles*” go away, it’s time to go back to training for the Tokyo Marathon. Gulp.
*I learned that in Chinese you say “sour” instead of “sore” to describe sore muscles. This phrase weirdly makes a lot of sense and should definitely be used more often.
i’m so obsessed with fashion from the early 2000’s like
bless their hearts
I can’t wait ‘til the college kids start having 2000s throwback parties.