The president of Uruguay is 78-year old José Mujica (1935-). As a young man he joined the Tupamaros, a communist liberation movement that sprang up in Uruguay in the 1960s. He spent his youth fighting a civil war, in and out of prisons. In 1973, at age 38, he went into a military prison and spent 14 years in confinement; in the course of that imprisonment he spent more than two years in solitary confinement at the bottom of a well. He was 50 when he was at last released in 1985 after the return of constitutional democracy and a general amnesty. Then began his career in politics.
What left an impression on me, reading a story in the New York Times, was the almost infinite variety of lives lived on this globe—that and those two years spent at the bottom of a well. That, surely, will do something to a person. The mind, will, and the soul will change all in proportion to the innate character of the person who undergoes the ordeal.
My image, showing Mujica at 74, is from El Diario (link).