To me the crux of the Nelson Mandela story is his time in prison. He went in angry, at his own admission, and deemed a terrorist. He was ill-treated by guards. Long hours of hard labor in a lime quarry damaged his eyesight permanently. But after twenty-some years, he wasn’t broken; instead when he was offered to be freed, he refused unless the other political prisoners were freed as well. And after 27 years, he came out a hero, a founding father and a redeemer. He came out a better man, learning the language of his oppressors to better communicate with them, working to save one of their national symbols, willing to forgive those—both specifically and generally—that oppressed him, even helping give a scholarship to one of his prison guard’s sons. Granted, he was just one man—there were many that worked to change South Africa—and he wasn’t perfect, but what an amazing man, he is.
466/64 was his prison number.