Yesterday the world celebrated an incredible man. Nelson Mandela’s story and life have inspired the world to believe in the power of the human spirit to persevere beyond the worst trials and come out on the other side stronger and whole. From former American President, Bill Clinton to our other beloved struggle icon, Bishop Desmond Tutu, the recognition of what Madiba has done is being acknowledged at home and abroad.
With the health scare that South Africa has had to endure over the past few weeks concerning our iconic statesman, having Mr. Mandela still with us on this day has been a relief to many. The country and the world committed to honouring him, by taking at least 67 minutes to lift up those who are in need of a hand, a truly noble concept that should be carried beyond the 18th of July every year.
Mandela’s work and his struggle was a daily effort, a daily commitment to not giving up, to holding onto the dream of a better South Africa- a better world and he paid the price for it. We should be willing to take his torch and carry it into a future, way beyond Madiba’s presence with us. We must continue his legacy and honor it by making it more than just 67 minutes- once a year. We should be inspired everyday to be more, to do more and to help more… we need to learn to give and give, until there is nothing left. That’s how we will make Madiba live forever, that’s the path to honoring his work. He proved that a single person could play their part in changing the course of a nation. The question is, are we willing to play ours?
Everywhere we turn and look, we see the nation slipping further away from Madiba’s dream, corruption is rife, crime is escalating and let’s not even talk about xenophobia. The people he fought so hard to help to believe in themselves, seem to be forgetting who they are on a daily basis and it’s sad. It’s impossible to believe that Mandela would have wanted to be just a figure head, just a face on a poster that people remember fondly.
He started a revolution and we have to uphold his principles, if not us- then who? If not now- then when? We commit easily to 67 minutes in a year, but not to daily character building, not to making a difference in our society… to using simple words like “No!” when we see injustice being carried out, or saying “Yes!” when we know someone is in need.
Nelson Mandela did more for us that we asked him to, he paid a price few of us ever have to, it shouldn’t be difficult for us to pay our price to maintain the work he did- we shouldn’t have to be reminded to practice ubuntu each and every single day. We shouldn’t carry his torch once a year, but always.