Friday, 6 December 2013

Nelson Mandela

At university I studied Third World and Development studies but in many ways it was World Studies. Or maybe it was Human Nature Studies. Either way it did not lead to a job in any shape or form. But it did open my eyes and everyone's eyes should be open. But In many ways it depressed me. I constantly studied the ways in which we as humans have hurt each other, tried to dominate each other and consistently failed to help one another.

I feared that we were broken...

However there are these people who come along throughout history. You know the ones...

We remember them because they changed things, often at great risk to themselves.

With great courage they fought against what is wrong and unjust.

And yet teach forgiveness.

They bring us hope.

They demonstrate how we all can be as human beings.

They remind us that although we have many beautiful differences we are all one.

We are connected.

And they show us that the greatest of all things is love...

Nelson Mandela is one of those people. And I found him when I was writing my final dissertation on oppression and liberation in South Africa. During my research I read his book Long Walk to Freedom. And I literally could not put it down. I was completely inspired and hopeful again. He affected every word I typed and every thought I had while writing it.

He reminded me what human beings are capable of.

He reminds me still of what I am capable of.

I am sad that he is gone. It was comforting sharing this planet with him.

But I will try to replace that sadness with gratefulness that he was here in the first place.

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