Monday, August 8, 2011

Seeking the Truth in Yourself

Image from Wikipedia
I recently watched the movie Invictus, a portrayal of Nelson Mandela, acted by Morgan Freeman, set in the 1990's, the time period just after Mandela's release from 27 years of unjust incarceration. Mandela was elected  president by the first truly free election, the first multi-racial democracy, in 1994.

Mahatma Gandhi's non-violent resistance, satyagraha ("truth force"), influenced Mandela's approach to ruling in South Africa. This was portrayed wonderfully in the movie. Mandela's ability to see the truth in himself--his greatness, his flaws, his prejudice, his desire for revenge, his desire for peace--allowed him to rule from a place of equanimity. His ability to look beyond himself and ask, "What is the best course of action for all people of South Africa?" made him an incredible leader.

Since watching this movie I have been wondering what would happen if we could all be so fearless? What would happen if we could all look inside ourselves and see both the greatness and the smallness that makes us who we are? Could we recognize what hooks us if we could see ourselves with perfect truthfulness? Could we find love and forgiveness in our hearts for ourselves and others the way Mandela (and Gandhi) did?

Om Shanti, Shanti, Shanti. Peace, peace, peace.