This past week the world bid farewell to one of the finest people to ever stand amongst us. Nelson Mandela was born in South Africa in July of 1918.
He was the man who completely transformed the landscape of a country despite being in prison for 27 years. Mandela passed away December 5th at the age of 95. To say he was an inspiration to the downtrodden people of the world would be a gross understatement. To say he was a leader of men and a man of peace would also be be barely adequate. He was a revolutionary and humanitarian who accomplished things that no man thought possible and with his passing takes his place alongside the likes of Ghandi and Martin Luther King.
His story is well-known. His exploits and sacrifice on behalf of the black population of racist South Africa are the story of legend. Very few men have turned a life of misery into a positive shining beacon for all to behold.
One of Mandela’s famous quotes states simply, “It always seems impossible until it’s done”. During the early part of his incarceration as an enemy of the state, Mandela was subjected to varying degrees of both physical and mental abuse. He withstood the constant affront and after a time became both a friend and inspiration to his jailors! They could not ignore his profound commitment to the principals of truth, justice and equality even while locked away within the oppressor’s cage.
“Let freedon reign. The sun never set on so glorious a human achievement”. By never allowing his predicament to color his unwavering strength, Mandela slowly and steadily climbed an extremely high and treacherous mountain. He could have easily slipped and fell into a very deep chasm of hate and resentment but he managed to continue to move forward…move upward.
Another of his quotes showed his whimsical side even in the face of unspeakable hardship.”In my country we go to prison first and then become President”. The simple fact that he could withstand years of jail and then rise up to the leadership of a nation deeply divided
is the stuff of fantasy but when you consider how he continued to heal the country bringing the black and white populations together it makes for an even more incredible story.
“If there are dreams about a beautiful South Africa, there are also roads that lead to the goal. Two of these roads could be named Goodness and Forgiveness.” When his body arrived home at the Eastern Cape Province the streets were filled with his countryman cheering, singing, mourning the great man as the flag draped coffin was driven past.
God Bless Nelson Mandela for a life well lived..an inspiration to people the world over.
- Mourning Madiba: South Africans Say Goodbye to Nelson Mandela (world.time.com)
- Gallery: Mthatha welcomes Mandela home (iol.co.za)
- Remembering Nelson Mandela (cannonchronicle.wordpress.com)