Finding Peace through Forgiveness

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For so long, mankind has often used violence to resolve conflicts. But it’s also possible to use non-violent direct action and civil disobedience. Many have tried this approach, and most of them have failed.

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There were two countries where a non-violent movement was successful; countries in which violence could have erupted into a revolution as a result of racial segregation. Those countries are South Africa and the United States, two important nations on two different continents, Africa and North America. Both of the countries had three common conditions that made it possible for nonviolence to work and these are: the threat of violence which made the existing power willing to change, they were both colonies of England, who believed in rule by law, and the presence of an individual who could lead his followers to a violent victory. The two people who made this possible were Martin Luther King Jr. and Nelson Mandela. They both valued the importance of carrying out a peaceful approach to reach their goal. King was the only son in the family to go to college. He also received his Doctorate in theology. Mandela was the first black South African to attend college. He received his degree from law school. As King became a minister in a church, it was a perfect place for him to initiate the civil rights struggle. Mandela started practicing law in Johannesburg, which was where he started seeing racism and discrimination intensified. King’s inspiring speaking abilities could be owed to his background, since he was raised in a family of preachers. Mandela had to be great speaker, since he was born to a family of leaders and always wanted to become a lawyer. Even though these two people were from two different continents, their main goal was the fair treatment of black people in each of their society and they were able to accomplish the goal through a nonviolent approach.

Martin Luther King was born into a wealthy family on 15th January, 1929 in Atlanta, Georgia. Nelson Mandela was born on 18th July 1918 in the village of Mvezo in the South African province now known as the Eastern Cape. King’s father was a Baptist preacher, active in the human-rights movement while his mother was a schoolteacher. Mandela’s father, Chief Henry Mandela, was a Principal councillor to the acting King of Thembu people and his mother, Nonqaphi Nosekeni was founder of the Methodist Church in Qunu. King always maintained a great admiration for his father. As he grew up, he developed his public speaking and debating skills; he even won the debating competition at the age of 13, at Booker T. Washington High School. Mandela was raised in the Thembu culture for six years and he was sent to a Methodist Missionary school where he was required to live under apartheid,

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