Belize Farewells Nelson Mandela
What can we say? We all knew of the great man’s life history, his many contributions to humanity and his gift to all of us in teaching by example about steadfastness, reconciliation and forgiveness. We also knew that his passing was imminent…
But hearing the news still weighs heavy on our hearts. He was a great man at a time when the world needs more great people displaying the spirit he seemed so imbued with.
To endure such incredible hardship to bring freedom to millions when he could have enjoyed a privileged life, and then after enduring such harsh, unfair treatment for 27 cruel years of prison and then finally becoming the very first black president of South Africa, and the first president elected in a multiracial fully representational election, he worked tirelessly towards reconciliation and unity rather than revenge.
After 27 unjust years of prison. Just think about it…
Of course, there is much more to this multifaceted man who, in one lifetime, received more than 250 international honours, including the Nobel Peace Prize, the US Presidential Medal of Freedom (the highest distinction a private person can receive) the Soviet Order of Lenin and many others from diverse governments and ideologies.
From village cattle herder boy to lawyer to anti-apartheid leader to wanted terrorist to political prisoner to president of a large multicultural nation, all within 95 years.
What we’ll remember Mandela for is cutting across political, racial and ideological boundaries to work for all people towards a harmonious goal of living together. And showing almost superhuman compassion while doing so.
All we can say is that we’re honoured such a person arose in our lifetimes to provide inspiration and prove that empathy and diplomacy are still effective options in world where violence is increasingly used to bring about change.
Madiba may be gone, but his example and inspiration live on and have a daily effect on many people’s lives. Perhaps the torch is being passed right now…
That’s an admirable legacy indeed.
Goodbye Madiba, from all of us at Chaa Creek