After becoming President, I asked some of my bodyguards to go with me for a walk in town.
After the walk, we went for lunch at a restaurant. We sat in one of the most prominent ones, and each of us ordered what we wanted.
After a bit of waiting, the waiter who brought our menus appeared, and at that moment I realized that at the table that was right in front of ours there was a single man waiting to be served.
When he was served, I told one of my soldiers: “Go ask that man to join us”.
The soldier went and relayed my invitation. The man stood up, took the plate and sat next to me. While eating, his hands were constantly shaking and he didn’t lift his head from the food.
When we finished, he waved at me without even looking at me, I shook his hand and he walked away!
One of my soldiers then said to me:
“Madiba, that man must be very sick as his hands wouldn’t stop shaking while he was eating”.
“Not at all! The reason for his tremor is another”, I replied.
They looked at me weirdly and I said to them:
“That man was the guardian of the jail I was locked up in. Often, after the torture I was subjected to, I screamed and cried for water and he came to humiliate me, he laughed at me and instead of giving me water he urinated on my head…”
“He wasn’t sick, he was scared and shook maybe fearing that now that I’m president of South Africa, I would send him to jail and do the same thing he did with me, torturing and humiliating him. But that’s not me, that behavior is not part of my character nor my ethics. Minds that seek revenge destroy states, while those that seek reconciliation build Nations′′.