Nelson Mandela’s heroism, quiet strength and incredible courage are qualities that we can all agree on, however difficult it may be for us to agree on the value (or lack thereof) of other world leaders. He is someone fully deserving of praise, emulation and remembrance. God bless him for he was truly one of His best creations.
It takes a man like Nelson Mandela to change our perspective. No one has had a greater reason to be bitter, angry, or to embrace violence in the name of justice/revenge. No one was less likely to do any of these things than he. Some speak of change and some effect it. Some pontificate on the value of their ideas and some add enormous value through the power of their ideas. Some speak endlessly and say nothing while some waste no time in idle chatter and go about changing the world for the better through their actions, their example, and their principles throughout their lives.
Outgoing NYC Mayor Bloomberg very wisely named a school for Nelson Mandela that he had visited much earlier in his life after being released from an unconscionable imprisonment in South Africa. I wish we could name a world for him. What a transformational figure and what a reminder of the tremendous capacity of the human heart for compassion, decency, and quiet dignity. I will never be able to think of him without smiling as I have never seen him through the years in the best and worst times of his life without a smile.
No matter where we live, no matter our station in life, we have been enriched by his life and are poorer for his passing. Heaven is richer, though, and he leaves us a boundless good will that will be his legacy.