Nelson Mandela

I don’t believe in superheroes.

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I don’t believe that men can be perfect; that people are either good or evil.

I don’t believe in pedestals or martyrdom.

I don’t believe in any of that.

But I believed in Mandela.

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I believe in the things he stood for and I stand in awe of the things he did and the sacrifices he made.

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His life affected mine to the core of my fundamental beliefs.

His words hang around my office. His deeds made me want to be a better person.

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He affected the way I travel, raise my kids and live my life.

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I feel fortunate to have visited his South Africa twice, to have met his friends and family,  to have had conversations about his life and work with my childrenDSC_0073

and to have watched them grow to believe in him too.

IMG_7783I don’t believe in superheroes but there is no question that the world is better because Nelson Mandela was here.

I feel so grateful to have shared the planet with him.

He is an example of the good we can do.

 

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{ 4 comments… add one }

  • Colleen Friesen December 6, 2013, 11:38 AM

    Amen Heather.
    I don’t believe in absolutes either, except perhaps the absolute of imperfection. But. I too believe in Mr. Mandela.
    He embodied the very essence of forgiveness and compassion. Our world is a better place because of how he lived.

  • Heather December 6, 2013, 11:46 AM

    “the absolute of imperfection.”
    That’s it exactly. Thanks Colleen.

  • Roni Faida December 9, 2013, 10:58 PM

    His sheer ability to not be broken after 27 years of hard labor, then come out and have his jailer be at his Inauguration is truly amazing. I went to South Africa and talked with people about him and everyone had nothing but nice things to say. He wasn’t a saint, but he completely changed the trajectory of that country. What an excellent example of forgiveness, strength, and character.

  • Heather December 11, 2013, 9:00 AM

    Did you visit Robben Island Roni? I can’t even imagine walking into and out of that with forgiveness in your heart. Incredible.

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