Friday, December 6, 2013

Rest in Peace, Mandela...

   …and a dove has been freed from its cage.  
Photo: Corbis
Mandela will remain etched in our collective memory as a symbol of persistence, tolerance and peace.  

Born in a country where he was considered a second class citizen by the white minority; a land where he and many others like him were robbed of human dignity; a place that would rob him of 27 years of his life, it’s a wonder he still had love for the people and the country that had treated him terribly for 71 years.

If he’d left jail with a vindictive heart, no one would have faulted him for feeling that way. If he’d decided to rule South Africa until his death, many people would have supported his claim to the throne since he sacrificed his life for his people and country. But being the man Mandela was, he didn't let his ego get the best of him. Instead, he chose a path only few of us would follow considering the enormous adversity he encountered.

Mandela: Paragon of Unity and Tolerance

Mandela is revered because he brought a bitterly divided country together. He didn't demonize the white minority or his transgressors, but worked at ensuring equality for all. Essentially, he envisioned South Africa as a nation that could rise from its dark past and become a paragon of tolerance.

A quote by Tony Robbins reads, “Everybody's life is either a warning or an example. You've got to decide what you're gonna be and you have to draw a line in the sand”. There’s no doubt about the choice Mandela made regarding his life which is an example to be followed by all of us, especially our politicians and leaders. We need to focus our energy on fighting for collective rights rather than personal interests; for equality between races and sexes rather than dwelling on our differences, because we’re more alike than unalike.

As the world pays tribute to a hero, it’s my prayer that we, with special reference to world leaders, reflect on the life he led and strive to emulate him in his actions. We need to remember that - to quote Mandela - it’s in our hands to create a better world for all who live in it.

Rest in Peace Nelson Mandela…