For the last few of weeks, Nelson Mandela has been on our minds and in our prayers, especially here in South Africa. This amazing man has had such an incredible impact on the lives of millions of people, both locally and globally. Nelson Mandela is a symbol of hope and inspiration to us all. With his clear vision, integrity, compassion and wisdom, he is a model of great leadership. Mandela sacrificed and gave so much of his self for the betterment of our people. I am grateful to have borne witness to his greatness in my life time.
I’ve been reading various quotes from my copy of Nelson Mandela’s – The Authorised Book of Quotations, to reflect on some of the lessons that one can take from his life. It’s strange to think that at one stage in South Africa’s history it was illegal to quote Mandela – an offence that put you at risk of prison time. Fortunately today we are able to read and share his wisdom freely. There is so much to appreciate about this dynamic individual and many lessons one can learn from him. One of the most significant things for me is that he demonstrated what it means to be of service and to contribute to the greater good of others. It’s no surprise that Washington Post writer, Joe Davidson, donned Mandela ‘the ultimate public servant’ in his recent article.
Through his example as President, he taught me to recognise my personal power and to use that to the best of my ability for myself, as well as to use my life as an instrument to serve, inspire and uplift others. It’s so easy to feel confined by circumstances or to feel helpless at times. But this phenomenal leader constantly demonstrated the potential one individual has to create meaningful change through the way he live his life and served our country. He reiterated time and time again that the power is in our hands. He encouraged us to release a traumatic past and to work on finding peace within ourselves so that each of us is able to share our little bit of peace with those around us. He taught us of the influence one can have when you break through the confines we place on ourselves.
“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
Mandela’s legacy is one of endeavouring to make a difference and to create positive change in the lives of people and children who need it most. So in honour of this extraordinary man, I encourage you all to ignite the spirit of service that he imparted on to us in your own life. How can you make a difference? How can you contribute meaning, positivity, love and light to those who need it? However big or small the effort, it is worth every effort. Keep the spirit of service going. We are an interconnected human race and together we can heal and uplift one another.