He was one of the greatest men of our time, someone that anyone could easily see was one of history’s most important figures and sadly he has passed on. Nelson Mandela has left this earth but will forever be immortalized in the hearts and minds of so many people around the world. He went from extremest to mediator, becoming one of the greatest world leaders of our age, who showed us that through, stubbornness, determination, the ability to compromise and of course love in the form of forgiveness anything can be possible. Mandela was not a perfect man he had his faults and infidelities but he described himself saying ‘I am not a saint, unless you think of a saint as a sinner who keeps on trying, that phrase gives me hope for all of us. He was a loyal man, even standing by Castro and Gadaffi in the early 90’s, something many of us would not approve of, but they where loyal to him so he was loyal back at the same time he showed great loyalty to President Clinton, so he was a man who walked a middle path, seeing that peace was more successful than aggression, a man who chose hope over fear, this is another thing we could all learn from him. Maybe South Africa hasn’t achieved all the goals he has envisioned just yet but unlike many African countries its on its way there and it is a beacon of hope.
This world has lost a great source of light in his passing, if we are lucky his thoughts and beliefs will help mold this world into a better place.
This was a short tribute to a man I greatly admired and respected someone I would have liked to have met and shook hands with just to say, thank you for trying to make this world better, someone whose thoughts on forgiveness being the factor needed to move forward from a dark past will hopefully transfer to my country.
To finish this off I thought maybe I would just add in this poem that has been linked with Mandala’s prison days, I feel it is fitting.
Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.
In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed.
Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
Finds and shall find me unafraid.
It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul.
R.I.P Nelson Mandela your greatness changed not only a country but the world for the better.