Imagine yourself, just a down to earth kind of person, working in a good profession and joining in some local meetings to try and change things for the better.
Imagine yourself, just a down to earth kind of person, working in a good profession and joining in some local meetings to try and change things for the better. Do you think you could make a difference? Can one person have such an impact on the world that they can change the course of history? Could you?
On 5th December, the world lost one of the greatest political leaders we have ever seen, but not only that we lost a genuinely kind and special soul. Nelson Mandela, at the grand old age of 95 passed away at home with his family surrounding him.
It seems strange for you to think of everything this man has seen and gone through, especially if you weren’t necessarily alive or were too young to witness it.
An ambassador for South Africa
The first of his family to go to school he went on to become a lawyer and whilst he did this he joined the African National Congress (ANC). A peaceful campaigner against apartheid along with the ANC he faced severe violence from the white police forces. At this time the black people had no political power or rights and when faced with the attacks on these peaceful protests the ANC decided to advocate stronger measures.
In 1964 Mandela was arrested and sent to a prison on Robben Island with a life sentence, here he had to break rock along with the other inmates. For 27 years he was imprisoned, something which the rest of the world rallied against. Already this man was becoming an icon for the world and for racial equality.
He was finally released in 1990 and the impact he had already had on the South African political system was in motion. In 1993 he was awarded a Nobel Prize and by 1994 he had been elected the first black president of South Africa.
Never wanted revenge
He spent 5 years in office and then continued to be a highly respected Ambassador for South Africa. He even helped to bring the World Cup to the country in 2010. He fought cancer in 2001 and still continued to take an active part in campaigning for HIV/AIDs.
These are just highlights of a long and jam-packed life. It shows that despite having 27 years of his life taken from him he managed to fit in more than most people do. He was a caring, funny and fascinating man—a man who forgave others in unforgivable circumstances.
He did not allow them to break his spirit or his beliefs—he never wanted revenge on the captors who locked him away. His success in life was the best payback he could have on these people but still he never looked on it like that he just strove for more justice in the world. This is what made him unique, what made him exceptional and what makes him unforgettable. This was just one man, so think what you could achieve.
“We must use time wisely and forever realise that the time is always ripe to do right.”
Have your say on the legacy of Mandela in the comments section below.