“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.” ~ Nelson Mandela
Nelson Mandela – One Man, One Heart, One World….A Man of Extraordinary Courage, Wisdom and Charisma who changed the world, one person at a time, one breathe at at time, one day at a time, with every human being he came in contact with. His wisdom of practicing peace in the midst of turmoil and forgiveness in the center of unforgivable acts of cruelty were his trademarks of an extraordinary man who understood what it meant to have extraordinary courage. His insistence on forgiveness over vengeance made him a powerful symbol of Peace as he challenged, stood up for, fought for, and struggled to end his country’s brutally codified system of racial domination.
Imagine serving 27 years in prison, breaking hard bricks in the hot African sun and high temperatures, simply because you were convicted of treason by the ‘white’ minority government, only to forge ahead with a peaceful end to white rule by negotiating with your captors, and then to become President of your Country. Peaceful resolution that transcended decades of racial division. Not an easy negotiation in the depths of conflict and fear.
Nelson Mandela’s tireless struggle for the freedom of his people earned him the respect of the world. His North Star was never far off from his prison gates that held him captive for so many years. None of us can imagine what those 27 years were like for Nelson Mandela to be without his freedom, let alone doing hard labor and breaking bricks in the hot noonday sun. The beauty and the grace of this one man’s spirit was stronger than those prison walls and the bars that held him captive….He miraculously negotiated with his captors with his deep humility, compassion, and a profound understanding of humanity, which earned him their Love and their respect.
From a prison release in 1990 to a resounding electoral victory as the first black President in 1994, and the first fully democratic election in Africa’s history, Nelson Mandela made history happen simply by being who he was. Significant. Elegant. Humble. Compassionate. Wise. Intelligent. Caring. Humble. Loving. Honorable. Kind. Educated. Peaceful. Patient. Powerful. But more than any of these exceptional qualities, Nelson Mandela had a Vision to end apartheid and free his people from racial oppression. That vision that he held so close to his own heart and his absolute belief that it was possible in his lifetime, was stronger and more powerful than any detention behind bars and peoples closed minds and hearts.
He was Africa’s greatest son whose vision changed the world, one person at a time, one moment at a time, one day at a time. Nelson Mandela’s North Star of Freedom was his Guiding Light, and with great respect and dignity, he delivered that freedom in his lifetime to his people. From Statesmen to children, every black African gained their freedom as Nelson Mandela walked towards the light, after 27 years of captivity and a Vision that he held so close to his own heart, it had no where else to go but out into the Universe to deliver its gifts of freedom to everyone. The world will not see a man like this again.
Godspeed Nelson Mandela. Millions of people will forever honor you with their full Hearts of Gratitude for being such a Beautiful, humble servant. Your vision made it possible. One Man. One Heart. One World. One moment at at time. How extraordinary that you, Mr. Mandela, served as the first black leader and President of your Nation in the same lifetime as our leader and black President Barak Obama, and both of you have won the Nobel Peace Prize. Martin Luther King and all of us on the Planet are crying tears of Gratitude for you today, our Beloved Brother.