Part 1. When we are willing to let down our defences and look honestly at our actions, we find there is a great freedom in asking for forgiveness and great strength in admitting the wrong.
It is not easy to admit one's wrongdoing and ask for forgiveness. I am sorry are perhaps the three hardest words to say.
There are times when all of us have been thoughtless, selfish or cruel. But no act is unforgivable; no person is beyond redemption.
Forgiveness is simply about understanding that every one of us is both inherently good and inherently flawed.
Until we can forgive, we remain locked in our pain and locked out of the possibility of experiencing healing and freedom, locked out of the possibility of being at peace.
We must not allow ourselves to become like the system we oppose.
We must not allow ourselves to become like the system we oppose. We cannot afford to use methods of which we will be ashamed when we look back, when we say, '...we shouldn't have done that.'
Children are a wonderful gift. They have an extraordinary capacity to see into the heart of things and to expose sham and humbug for what they are.
In the land of my birth I cannot vote, whereas a young person of eighteen can vote. And why? Because he or she possesses that wonderful biological attribute -- a white skin.
Those who invest in South Africa should not think they are doing us a favor; they are here for what they get out of our cheap and abundant labor, and they should know that they are buttressing one of the most vicious systems.
For goodness sake, will they hear, will white people hear what we are trying to say? Please, all we are asking you to do is to recognize that we are humans, too.
Oh, 1994, April 27. There won't be a day like that ever again. I mean, the sky was blue, with a blueness that had never been there before.
As human beings we have the most extraordinary capacity for evil. We can perpetrate some of the most horrendous atrocities.
In my country of South Africa, we struggled for years against the evil system of apartheid that divided human beings, children of the same God, by racial classification and then denied many of them fundamental human rights.
I've never doubted that apartheid -- because it was of itself fundamentally, intrinsically evil -- was going to bite the dust eventually.
I certainly know that I would not be able to survive if it were not for the fact that I am being upheld by the prayers of so many people.
We may be surprised at the people we find in heaven. God has a soft spot for sinners. His standards are quite low.
What is black empowerment when it seems to benefit not the vast majority but an elite that tends to be recycled?
I am not interested in picking up crumbs of compassion thrown from the table of someone who considers himself my master. I want the full menu of rights.
Do your little bit of good where you are; it's those little bits of good put together that overwhelm the world.
We are each made for goodness, love and compassion. Our lives are transformed as much as the world is when we live with these truths.
Because forgiveness is like this: a room can be dank because you have closed the windows, you've closed the curtains. But the sun is shining outside, and the air is fresh outside. In order to get that fresh air, you have to get up and open the window and draw the curtains apart.
Your ordinary acts of love and hope point to the extraordinary promise that every human life is of inestimable value.