It has been in the darkest time when people fully developed their potentials; it has been in the most urgent situations when people stay instinctive to deal with the changing circumstances. Roman poet Horace once asserted that people develop their hidden talents only in adversity instead of non-turbulent conditions. While some argue that it is not necessary to put the talents in turbulence for improvements, I consider it to be when potentials can be maximized, based on evidence of Gandhi and Nelson Mandela.
Under the tyranny of British ruling. Mohandas Gandhi was motivated to maximize his potentials, and, thus, save his country and his people from the abyss of suffering. Without the crisis that abused his family, his friends, and his countrymen, Gandhi might never realize his persuasive ability can be utilized outside his lawyer career.
Before the Salt March in 1930, Britain has ruled over India for centuries—monopolies over commodity production and sales, especially those for salt. Specifically, the British enacted the Salt Act that prohibited Indians from collecting or selling salt but importing salt at a high price from the British. The Indians suffered—lack of salt had precipitated poverty and diseases.
To resist not only the Salt Act but also the tyranny over Indians, Gandhi adopted “satyagraha,” or a nonviolent act of mass civil disobedience. Started from March 12, 1930, Mohandas Gandhi embarked on a 24-day march, during when he lobbied, persuaded, and recruited more and more people to join the fight along the way: he convinced tens of thousands of supporters to join his group. Due to Gandhi’s effective, persuasive lobbying, civil disobedience soon broke out throughout India. His effort had prompted a national backlash as well as an international outcry against British policy and tyranny in India.
Ultimately, India was granted its independence in 1947. Throughout the social disobedience, Gandhi’s persuasive talent is ineligible. However, if he had not encountered the darkest era of his motherland, he might become a lawyer instead of a pioneer who truly accelerated social development and changed history.
Moreover, another adversity that excavates one’s potentials completely was Nelson Mandela, who endeavored to eliminate the apartheid system. Similar to the social background of Gandhi’s, at that time, South Africa was highly hierarchical: intensively-restrictive legislation was enacted, and the non-whites were forced to leave their communities and relocated to segregated communities.
Influenced by Gandhian ideologies of nonviolent resistance, the South African public started to revolt against the racial segregation. Even though Mandela wasn’t the first to initiate societal uprisings, he was the key decider that had comprehended the situations and made the right decision. Initially, the African National Congress (ANC) adopted mainly legal oppositions toward the corrupted society system; however, Mandela was unsatisfied with the tiny outcomes impacted non-fundamentally of the structure for decades.
He soon accompanied some of his companions to call on immediate armed uprisings, establishing the Umkhonto We Sizwe (meaning “Spear of the Nation”) but failed. Instead, he didn’t give up but united with the international support and sanction to enforce the white government negotiating about the segregation system. Thanks to his decisive operation in the most intense epoch of a race and a nation, Mandela won the battle—two-thirds of the South African white voters approved a negotiated end to the minority regime and the apartheid system lasted for centuries.