Nelson Mandela

I don’t believe in superheroes.


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.


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



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.


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


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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