Sunday, December 8, 2013

We Lose An Inspirational Man - Nelson Mandela

I first learned of Nelson Mandela in high school when I was learning about Apartheid in South Africa.  He was the first person our teachers told us about and that his words, his teachings and his protests for equality amongst the common man - who was every man, woman and child no matter what colour they were in every country around the world - was to something to be reached.  However, when I was high school, Nelson Mandela was also in prison for wishing this for his people.  The very reason for his inprisonment?  It was because he was of the colour of his skin.  Everyone knew this wasn't right, however he stayed in prison in South Africa for 27 years.
When he was released, I thought he would have become a bitter man for what happened to him.  However, I was wrong.  He had so much to teach us about life, about how we can become stronger for the things that have happened to us and to what has happened to others around us too.
And he taught us many things that have kept me wanting to learn more about him as the years wore on.  I found sites about him online.  I found a Facebook page about him and read posts on him and his life and interviews about him as well.  Whenever he was interviewed on 60 Minutes, I watched it.  Nelson Mandela has been a wonderfully interesting man who has inspired me in so many ways and has become a hero for the masses as well.
He has made us see others for who we are instead of the colour of their skin.  He had pulled down cultural walls and helped us live in harmony and dignity.  His presence in a room filled it with light and warmth.  And I wanted to learn so much more from him and so I bought some books on his life and his quotes - both written by himself - and I'm looking forward to reading them next year.

Nelson Mandela has been a hero of mine who I have looked up to over my life.  I have learned to be more open-minded, more happy and learned to take a step back from people before judging them as it does take a little dignity and integrity to take people - no matter where they're from - and yet remember that your own history is also just as chequered too in almost the same ways.  Rest In Peace Nelson Mandela, your work is finished here, but your legacy will most definitely live on for generations to come.

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