Day 16. Nelson Mandela teaches us about communication during lockdown


When we communicate, we share with others what we think, feel and believe. Communication is the lifeline of any relationship. Also, the relationships with self.

Not only how and what we communicate is important, but also with whom we communicate.  We become depend on communicating with certain people during the day, or over a week. When this communication breaks down – we feel a sense of loss – even withdrawal symptoms.

Communication technology

During lockdown and social distancing, communication has become a bit more difficult. Fortunately, in this modern day and age, we have technology on our side.

Mobile phones, computers with different apps allow us to contact and communicate with anyone, any place, all over the world.

Even businesses are finding that it’s easy to have staff meetings, communication with customers and ‘business as usual’ by making use of all the technology at our disposal.

Communication is the glue that keeps our social systems functional.

Just imagine what it would be like in a maximum prison where communication is prohibited.

Nelson Mandela and communication

Although communication between the inmates on Robbin Island, were made very difficult, they still succeeded in communicating with each other. This not only kept them motivated – but it also kept their vision and dream alive.

One of the methods to maintain communication was leaving messages under a specific stone on the way to the quarry.  Although this is quite primitive in our eyes, it served its purpose.

Communication from the outside world was scarce. Nelson Mandela even requested that they receive newspapers and magazines during this time. It was denied.

Just imagine

Just imagine being cut off from everything and everyone, isolated on a tiny island off the coast of the tip of Africa, with no possibility of release.

Nelson Mandela made the best of this opportunity. He started communicating with guards and made friends with them. When he was granted the opportunity, he spoke to politicians, reporters and to everyone else that would listen.

He shared his vision – over and over again…

While Madiba was is lockdown – he built up his relationships.

Building relationships during lockdown

With the extension of the lockdown in most countries, we have time to clean up and clean out our lives. We have time to prepare for a new future to come.

We have the opportunity to open the communication channels and build new relationships – even if its long distance.

This poses the questions:

  • What are you doing during this lockdown time?
  • What relationships are you consciously, mindfully working on and building?
  • How and with whom are you communicating?
  • What do you communicate about? What are you reading?
  • Who are you contacting?
  • Are there relationships that are folding under the pressure of lockdown? Why? Do they need saving? How? Should you let go?
  • How can you change your way of communicating?
  • With whom have you checked in? Who has checked in with you?
  • Are you dwindling on the dilemma and financial implications of lockdown? – or –
  • Do you discuss the future? What is you vision? With whom do you share it?

Remember – the foundations you lay now will last the next season, if not the rest of your life. Although there is a lot of uncertainty, we still need to stay safe in self. This is the opportunity to start living fearless…

We have learnt that Nelson Mandela didn’t sit around idle while he was in prison. He did the necessary inner work. He also mindfully kept communication going and consciously built important relationships that would serve him well in the next stage.

So should we…

To do list

Here are a few ideas to help you on this path:

  • Once again sit still and take a good look at your life.
  • Identify how and what you communicate. Are there any specific patterns? Can they change these patterns for the better?
  • Are you open to listen – and do you really hear?
  • Do you talk too much? Do you have verbal diarrhea?
  • Or – are you distant, disconnected and a spectator?
  • Why? What underlying fear and anxiety do you need to address?
  • What is the quality of your relationships? Are they functional or dysfunctional relationships ? Why? What do you need to be happy?
  • What do you need to give/do to make the ‘significant other’, happy
  • Open you heart to listen and give and receive love.  
  • Contact us if you need help, assistance and coaching. 
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Happy Easter weekend

Stay safe – stay connected