On December 6, 2013 after a life of 95 years, Nelson Mandela left this earth and now rests in God’s bosom. His body is gone but his light endures. And what a light it is! There have been so many powerful and wonderful things said about Madiba’s life and his contributions to his native South Africa and indeed to the world. What brings tears of joy and pride and deep admiration to my eyes is what he was able to achieve in his own personal transformation, in his ability to ‘fight the battle for dignity’, to insist on being ‘respected’, to “see” his oppressors in a new light, to reconcile the conflict between his heart and mind.
Oh! If only we could do more of that in our daily lives, how different our lives, our families, our communities, this world would be!
Madiba said, “It is a great tragedy to spend the best of your life in prison, but if I had not been to prison I would not have been able to achieve the greatest task in life, and that is changing yourself.”
What prison are you in today? There are so many… prisons of hatred, un-forgiveness, pain, jealousy, envy, self-loathing…the list goes on. What do you need to do today to release yourself from prison? To achieve true freedom? If there is one thing we can embrace about Nelson Mandela’s life, it is the fact that we have the capacity and the power within to change! His humility and grace demonstrates to me that he did not have some “special sauce” poured on him. We all, each one of us, has this capacity built into our DNA. We must “let our greatness bloom!”
“You have a limited time to stay on earth, you must try to use that period for the purpose of transforming your country, [Your life] into what you desire it to be!” Nelson Mandela
Madiba, may you rest in peace and your light perpetual shine upon us.