Nelson Mandela

“I was … contrasting the strength of peace over and above that of force and I told the incident … of an argument between the sun and the wind, that the sun said, ‘I’m stronger than you are’ and the wind says, ‘No, I’m stronger than you are.’ And they decided, therefore, to test their strength with a traveller … who was wearing a blanket. And they agreed that the one who would succeed in getting the traveller to get rid of his blanket would be the stronger. So the wind started. It started blowing and the harder it blew, the tighter the traveller pulled the blanket around his body. And the wind blew and blew but it could not get him to discard the blanket. And, as I said, the harder the wind blew, the tighter the visitor tried to hold the blanket around his body. And the wind eventually gave up. Then the sun started with its rays, very mild, and they increased in strength and as they increased … the traveller felt that the blanket was unnecessary because the blanket is for warmth. And so he decided to relax it, to loosen it, but the rays of the sun became stronger and stronger and eventually he threw it away. So by a gentle method it was possible to get the traveller to discard his blanket. And this is the parable that through peace you will be able to convert, you see, the most determined people, the most committed to the question of violence, and that is the method we should follow.”

– Nelson Mandela “Conversations with Myself”

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