When I’m mulling things over or feeling less then inspired, I like to read memoirs or autobiographies. Why? Because often, these are written by a person who has suffered some kind of hardship in their life; they are about perseverance, determination, faith and the ability to overcome difficulties and obstacles. They are about real trials and tribulations. Such ‘stories’ serve to remind me that I have a fabulous life. That I have never really endured true hardship. That even in moments of self-perceived desperation, things can always be worse. It is in these moments of retrospection that I get my groove back and pull up my argyle knee socks – because moping or allowing myself to be filled with despair will get me nowhere.
As my regular readers have probably noticed, I have been uncharacteristically quiet lately; truth be told, I have had a lot on my mind and have been unable to sit down and write anything that I consider ‘worthy.’ So rather then write a shitty post, I opted to spare you that pain 😀 Instead, I went in search of my next memoir and decided upon Mandela’s Long Walk to Freedom. Who better to inspire me than Madiba himself? The book is a brick and I have only read the first part – but I find myself thinking the same thing as I read: Mandela has been exposed to a hell of a lot in his lifetime. It amazes me to think about where he comes from, and where he is now. From a backwards country boy who wore a blanket and couldn’t use a fork, to president of South Africa, one of the most respected leaders in the world. Think about how much this man has seen throughout the course of his life. Does it not amaze you?
And so I leave you with today’s quote, one that resonated with me because of its simple truth:
A leader… is like a shepherd. He stays behind his flock, letting the most nimble go out ahead, whereupon the others follow, not realizing that all along, they are being directed from behind.
– Nelson Mandela, Long Walk to Freedom
Have you read Mandela’s autobiography? What do you do to get your groove back?