Face the new year with courage...
“Some people give an impression of being militant and therefore not to face the problems, especially if they are the type of problems which are going to make you unpopular.”
Excerpt from Conversations with Myself (Farrar, Strauss and Giroux, NYC, 2010) – a conversation with Richard Stengel.
“Now this boarding master was a remarkable man…
He once gave a sermon [about] a man whose house was haunted by evil spirits. He did everything to drive them out, but he failed. The he decided to leave his kraal [a rural settlement of huts and houses], packed all his things on a wagon and started driving away to settle elsewhere.
Along the way, he met a friend and the friend asked, ‘Where are you going?’ Before he answered a voice came out of the wagon, ‘We are trekking, we are leaving our kraal.’ It was one of the evil spirits.
He thought he was leaving them behind; he actually came along with them. And he says, the moral was ‘Don’t run away from your problems; face them! Because if you don’t deal with them, the will always be with you. Deal with a problem which arises; face it courageously.’
That was the moral…I never forgot that, you see, and I accepted that if you have a problem, you must face it and not gloss over it.
For example, you know, in politics, there are very sensitive issues and people normally don’t want an unpopular approach. If people say, ‘We must go into action,’ very few people will say
‘Have we got the resources?'
'Have we made sufficient preparations?'
'Are we in a position to undertake this action?'
Some people give an impression of being militant and therefore not to face the problems, especially if they are the type of problems which are going to make you unpopular.
Success in politics demands that you must take your people into confidence about your views and state them very clearly, very politely, very calmly, but nevertheless state them openly.” (Nelson Mandela)