Kindness in the world of politics? 7 uplifting examples from 2013

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Is there such a thing as political kindness?

Well, certainly Nelson Mandela, whom we are memorializing this week, demonstrated that the notion of political kindness -- actions designed to heal instead of divide -- exists. Mandela famously forgave his oppressors, then worked with them to build a new South Africa. In a larger-than-life story that was mostly true, wrote one interviewer, he led the fight against a racist regime, “went to jail for a quarter-century; emerged from that dark place a stronger, wiser man; and, with quiet strength, led his nation toward peace, democracy and prosperity.”

Although Mandela’s example trumps most, there were other well-publicized incidents this year -- large and small, in America and abroad -- involving political kindness. -- Sara Lessley