Mandela: He should have lived for ever

Nelson Mandela

This self-confessed sinner, who kept on trying, created modern South African through towering dignity and the use of Christ-like love in a practical way to build bridges and keep the country together after apartheid (racial segregation).

I just want to say a few words about Nelson Mandela on his passing. He was a very dignified man who forgave those who incarcerated him for 27 years and who created and maintained apartheid.

Despite his greatness he firmly remained his ordinary self. Now, that is greatness. All that he did in politics was for the people. There was nothing of the usual politician in him. Most politicians have self-interest as the primary motivator. No so for Nelson Mandela.

We could do with a bit of that today in Britain; selfless politicians whose sole concern is to serve the people. Africa could do with more leaders like him, even a fraction like him would probably be enough because he set the bar incredibly high.

Even when he was firmly out of mainstream politics and very ill, you felt his presence was still a major influence on the politics and persona of South Africa.

Nelson Mandela wisely used sport as a unification tool. He was instrumental in bringing the Rugby World Cup to South Africa and the country won the competition. We should remember that the South African rugby team was all white. He embraced their achievement with great joy.

In South Africa he is referred to as Madiba, a clan name or as Tata meaning father. President Zuma, the current president, described him as “the father of the nation”. Mandela was the first black president of the country and one of the greatest statesman of the century.

What will happen now? There is a fear that violence might erupt.

It is said that he was a combination of Churchill, Gandhi and Christ. We hope his legacy will live on. It would for the world if he had lived for ever.

Notes:

  1. Photo (modified by me slightly) by Ben Hanbury
  2. I can find nothing in respect of an association between Mandela and companion animals. It seems he did not care for either a dog or cat. Perhaps his life was just unsuited to it.
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Mandela: He should have lived for ever — 7 Comments

  1. ….but you also know that he could not hurt an animal. I also would wager a bet that he could never have hunted. I’d also bet that he would protect them and the environment given the chance – and probably he did. A good person is not just good in politics – or in just one way – a good person has good common sense and confronted with any situation will make the kinder, more sustainable choices where possible.

    Therefore it is easy to suggest what he might have done in many given situations because we know he is a good person.

    Apartheid style of occupation is alive and kicking in Israel now.

    • I fully agree with what you write about Mandela and animals. I have had time to find something. According to PETA Mandela was “a patron of the National Council of SPCAs, which works to improve the standards for animal welfare in communities in South Africa.”

      This is exactly what I would expect. He would have respected animals. No doubt.

  2. Local radio had a man on this morning who was named for Nelson Mandela. His first name is Mandela. He said that bearing that name shaped his whole life because “it was a lot to live up to.” I’ll say. On one hand I can’t believe parents would place a burden like that on a child– a name he could never live up to. On the other hand, I think it was great. It keeps the remembrance and spirit of a great man alive.

    • The name of a person can have a big impact on a person’s life and it can certainly help in making a person successful.

      Nelson Mandela was given his first name by a British nurse as I recall. He had no idea why he was given that first name.

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