The Island

Why the Island?

The picture in the header is Robben Island, in Cape Town, South Africa.

It is most well-known as a prison, where political prisoners were sent to be silenced and hidden. It has also been a leper colony and an animal quarantine station.

The island’s most famous former prisoner is Nelson Mandela, who spent 18 years there. He entered as a young violent radical; he emerged nearly two decades later as the statesman who helped prevent a devastating and bloody civil war in South Africa.

Why the Island? To me, it symbolizes how complicated life is. Life is not fair. Or is it. A composite of circumstances, consequences, corruption, unfair outcomes, strangeness beyond our control, stupid people, kind people, liars and lovers, such a mishmash we all deal with… Mandela’s story is an epic; we can’t compare. But we can look to him as a hero and example.

The question I hear is: How are you doing on your island? Are you thriving? What’s stopping you? Because to fulfill our potential, we must learn to thrive on our island.
And that’s what I’m trying figure out…

Nelson Mandela’s cell at Robben Island


You can learn more about Robben Island from Nelson Mandela’s website. The statesman and Father to a nation was also an artist. And then he went home. He is so so missed.

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