As most people have now heard, Nelson Mandela died this morning at the age of 95.
Out of all our travels one of the most inspirational things we did was our visit to the Apartheid Museum in South Africa. As Chris and especially me were born towards the end of Apartheid we had little knowledge of this horrific period of history and for the first time we began to get an understanding of what apartheid really meant for the people of South Africa and just how far people will go to hold on to power. We also got an insight into one of the amazing giants, Father Mandela or Madiba, who fought this war, spending 27 years of his life in jail for his convictions.
He gave up living his own life, raising his children, eating dinner with his wife every night, to live for the truth and the people he believed in. And somehow throughout it all he came out with the ability to not hate but to forgive. Truly miraculous.
I am writing this because I hope that everyone will take a few minutes to reflect on what Mandela was able to accomplish and the messages of social justice that he shared with the world. He was a remarkable man and he will be greatly missed.
“For to be free is not merely to cast off one’s chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others.” Nelson Mandela
If you are interested in learning more about Mandela and his struggles, I highly recommend his auto-biography A Long Walk to Freedom. It is beautifully written and an amazing tribute to both him and his fellow freedom fighters.