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Thursday, December 5, 2013

Rest in Peace Mandela

Nelson Mandela
1918-2013
News of Nelson Mandela's death crossed the news wires a few minutes ago. Mandela was so many things to South Africa. Following 27 years in deplorable conditions at Robben Island for his activism, he led his country to democracy and became its first black president. He was only in office for five years but his influence became a symbol for equality. His efforts to end apartheid led to his winning a Nobel Peace Prize in 1993. He won it with Frederik Willem de Klerk "for their work for the peaceful termination of the apartheid regime, and for laying the foundations for a new democratic South Africa."

I always knew of Mandela’s story but I felt it in a personal way when Asher and I visited South Africa a few years ago. We went to Robben Island and visited his prison cell. We also learned of the abuse he endured while there. That experience pushed me to read some of his works. He was truly an inspiring man.

Perhaps the best tribute I can give is to leave you with some of his quotes. Be blessed.

"For to be free is not merely to cast off one's chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others."

"A good leader can engage in a debate frankly and thoroughly, knowing that at the end he and the other side must be closer, and thus emerge stronger. You don't have that idea when you are arrogant, superficial and uninformed." 

"There can be no keener revelation of a society's soul than the way in which it treats its children." 

"I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear."

"If there are dreams about a beautiful South Africa, there are also roads that lead to their goal. Two of these roads could be named Goodness and Forgiveness." 

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