Not long ago I talked about my admiration for Nelson Mandela who was portrayed in the movie Invictus. He spent so many years incarcerated in a violent prison and regime, and who still chose a path of reconciliation when he took power instead of wreaking brutal revenge.
The Mahatma Gandhi taught a similar message and the movie, which I first saw some 20 years ago, has a message that is as relevant today as ever. It is possible to bring down an evil regime without force. It is possible to solve complex, age-old political solutions through dialog and understanding.
The movie is a timeless beauty. It shares a lot of the human side of this great man and the people who helped him. Having traveled around India for 6 months, India holds a special place in my heart. It is a country that sharpens the senses in every place that you go to. The movie somehow manages to share this with us.
But the real value of the movie is far beyond the artistic. There are too many places in the world, where helpless people are being killed, abused, and incarcerated. There are too many leaders who need to stop for a moment and see the movie. They cannot meet with Gandhi, not in this world at least. But they should find some face-to-face time with Nelson Mandela, while this great man still walks upon the earth. ——————————————————————————————————-
Alon Shalev is the author of The Accidental Activist (now available on Kindle) and A Gardener’s Tale. He is the Executive Director of the San Francisco Hillel Foundation, a non-profit that provides spiritual and social justice opportunities to Jewish students in the Bay Area. More on Alon Shalev at www.alonshalev.com