Responding to rudeness with humour
When Nelson Mandela was studying law at the University, a white professor, whose last name was Peters, disliked him intensely.
One day, Mr. Peters was having lunch at the dining room when Mandela came along with his tray & sat next to the professor.
The professor said, “Mr Mandela, you do not understand, a pig & a bird do not sit together to eat”
Mandela looked at him as a parent would a rude child & calmly replied, “You do not worry professor. I’ll fly away,” and he went & sat at another table.
Mr. Peters, reddened with rage, decided to take revenge.
The next day in class he posed the following question: “Mr. Mandela, if you were walking down the street & found a package, & within was a bag of wisdom & another bag with money, which one would you take ?”
Without hesitating, Mandela responded, “The one with the money, of course.”
Mr. Peters , smiling sarcastically said, “I, in your place, would have taken the wisdom.”
Nelson Mandela shrugged & responded, *”Each one takes what he doesn’t have.”*
Mr. Peters, by this time was fit to be tied. So great was his anger that he wrote on Nelson Mandela’s exam sheet the word “IDIOT” & gave it to Mandela.
Mandela took the exam sheet & sat down at his desk trying very hard to remain calm while he contemplated his next move.
A few minutes later, Nelson Mandela got up, went to the professor & told him in a dignified polite tone,
“Mr. Peters, you signed the sheet, but you did not give me the grade.”