Born July 18, 1918 – Died December 5, 2013
Can you see it? Can you finally believe that one person can change the world? By this man’s life you must see that a singe individual human being can be such a force as to change the world for all time hence.
The father of his “new” nation, South Africa, spent 27 years in prison after having been sentenced to life in prison for what was called treason. He simply wanted to have all the people of his nation have the same opportunities – for example, the right to vote – as all other citizens.
He labor under the oppressive rule of what was called apartheid, as did the majority of citizens of South Africa. It was an onerous system where black Africans were subject to conditions and circumstances that worked against even their human dignity.
A Prison Does Not A Cage Make – Unless You Allow It So
During those 27 years in prison Mandela learned Afrikaans – the language of the minority of white South Africans. Later this helped him communicate effective with the minority. He also befriended one of his jailors which helped him and the jailor grow into even better men than they were.
He kept in touch with his family by writing the one letter a week he was allowed to pen. It is said that the family cherishes these letters very deeply.
When he was released from prison, he was not bitter but immediately sought for peace among the people of his nation. Perhaps his prison days were his time in the wilderness where he learned and grew into the man that would lead his country, in peace, to a new age.
Much Has Been Written
So much has already been written of him and I am sure there will be much more to come. Even the Wikipedia.org article, from which I gleaned some information, is very large. I encourage you to look for yourself if you want to know about Mandela.
Not all of his life before prison was rosy. He was even on the U. S. Terrorist watch list until 2008. He met with communist leaders in other countries which made him suspect in some eyes. He openly criticized President Bill Clinton but later supported him during the impeachment proceedings.
When His Country Needed Him He Answered the Call
He even had the brilliant idea of uniting his country when it was about to fall into chaos and perhaps civil war by having the World Cup of Rugby come to South Africa and encouraged the South African national team to do its best to win the cup. It did.
I Could Go On and On
I think you get the drift here, though. Right before your eyes if you are 20 years old or older, you have seen history made at the leadership of a single person. He wasn’t perfect; none of us humans are. But he did change South Africa and therefore the world by the strength of his ideas and convictions and talent, developed through prison time, I believe, which drew a nation of disparate beliefs and ideologies and heavy prejudice, he drew that nation together.
If you want more information on Nelson Mandela please surf the Net at your leisure. You will find and abundance of material.
You Don’t Have To Save Your Nation
But then again, maybe you do. My point is that Nelson Mandela, a single individual, changed the world.
What are you doing for your world? When will you start?
Photos from Wikipedia.org (Please donate to this fine organization.)
Rolihlahla Mandela (harounkola.com)
Guest Opinion: President Obama pays stirring tribute to Mandela (antiguaobserver.com)