In life, every man has twin obligations — obligations to his family, to his parents, to his wife and children; and he has an obligation to his people, his community, his country. In a civil and humane society, each man is able to fulfil those obligations according to his own inclinations and abilities. But in a country like South Africa, it was almost impossible for a man of my birth and colour to fulfil both of those obligations. In South Africa, a man of colour who attempted to live as a human being was punished and isolated. In South Africa, a man who tried to fulfil his duty to his people was inevitably ripped from his family and his home and was forced to live a life apart, a twilight existence of secrecy and rebellion. I did not in the beginning choose to place my people above my family, but in attempting to serve my people, I found that I was prevented from fulfilling my obligations as a son, a brother, a father and a husband.
Every man has dual responsibilities in life: obligations to his family, parents, wife, and children, as well as obligations to his people, community, and country. Each man can fulfil those tasks according to his own inclinations and abilities in a civic and humane community. In a country like South Africa, however, a man of his birth and colour could nearly never fulfil both of those commitments. A guy of colour who attempted to live as a human being in South Africa was punished and secluded.
In South Africa, a man who tried to do his duty to his people was inevitably separated from his family and forced to live a life of concealment and disobedience. He did not choose to prioritise his people over his family at first, but in doing so, he discovered that he was unable to fulfil his responsibilities as a son, brother, father, and husband.
|Valley||A low area of land between hills or mountains, typically with a river or stream flowing through it|
|Crest||The top of a mountain or hill|
|Ripe||Having arrived at the fitting stage or time for a particular action or purpose|
|Downpour||A heavy fall of rain|
|Shower||A brief and usually light fall of rain, hail, sleet, or snow|
|Intimately||In a way that involves detailed knowledge|
National Council of Educational Research and Training (2007). First Flight. Nelson Mandela: A Long Walk to Freedom - Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela (pp. 16 - 23). Published at the Publication Division by the Secretary, National Council of Educational Research and Training, Sri Aurobindo Marg, New Delhi..