KF: You've met and advised some of the most renowned leaders in the world—Nelson Mandela, Mother Teresa and everyone in between. Was there a piece of advice one of these people passed along that you'll never forget?
TR: I've met so many beautiful people. You've named two of my favorites. Nelson Mandela, because who else could you respect more than that? Someone who has been put through what he has been through, maybe the Dali Lama, and to still step up and give the way he's given and still have the mindset that he's had and be the kind of leader he is. I think Nelson Mandela told me something that I never forgot. I made the mistake when I first met him of asking him the question, "How did you make it through all those years of suffering? And how did you survive?" I think that's the word I used. I said, "How did you survive all those years?" And he abruptly shifted. He's a big man, and his shoulders came back, and he had this almost scowl on this face. He said, "I didn't survive. I prepared." And I'll never forget that. The idea that when life gives you something that's outside of your control, it's not about how to survive it. It's about how you use it—how to use the cards that have been dealt you.
I don't think there's anybody who is a better example of, yes, life sometimes gives you something that is completely unjust, but you still have to take your power, your spirit, your commitment, your love, determination, some purpose or mission larger than yourself to find a way to use it. I think that's the ultimate lesson for all of us because we're all going to experience injustice, pain and things we didn't ask for. They're going to strike us, and that's part of what Breakthrough is about. It's taking people who have experienced that injustice, that have experienced that raw deal, that have experienced life crushing them and showing them that there is that second chance. There's a way to turn it around. It can be done quickly.
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