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We need Nelson Mandela’s example more than ever today. How the South African leader’s radical empathy can help the US today

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“Ah, hello, General,” Mandela said, greeting Viljoen with a big smile. “How very good to see you. I have heard so much about you. Thank you very much for accepting my invitation.”

How did Mandela change the mind of a man once described as the “ultimate racist?” The answer to that question holds some critical lessons for the treacherous political environment in the US today.

As the world commemorates the 103rd birthday of Mandela this Sunday, this is the perfect time to explore how Mandela helped steer South Africa through some of the same racial and political divisions that engulf the US today.

“He took a political divide and racial divisions that go way beyond what you’re living in the US right now, and he managed to build a bridge,” says John Carlin, author of three books on Mandela, and a journalist who befriended Mandela .
“For those people in America who would like to explore how to build bridges across chasms that get ever wider in America, he’s…

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