I was recently in South Africa and privileged to hear Zelda la Grange, Nelson Mandela’s personal assistant for 19 years, speak. In her book Good Morning, Mr. Mandela Ms. Grange relates many fascinating anecdotes about her time with Mandela. In her talk, one story powerfully spoke to me. During his time as president, Mr. Mandela was being challenged in court over one of his initiatives by the opposition. In her words:
(W)hen the President walked into court, he walked to the prosecuting lawyers first
and shook hands with each and every one of them….
I was angry.…why should he give them any attention or even be friendly with them?
When I raised the incident with the President during tea time he taught me a lesson I would never forget:
“Remember, the way you approach a person will determine how that person reacts to you.”
There you have it: our attitudes and behaviors frequently have a significant self-fulfilling prophecy component. Life is not a given. What we think and how we act powerfully impacts how our lives turn out.
As always, I share what I most want/need to learn. – Nathan S. Collier