On December 5, 2013 the world lost another hero.
Nelson Mandela, affectionately called Madiba, was a symbol of freedom for the South African fight against apartheid. He exchanged his family, friends & livelihood for twenty-seven years of imprisonment to stand for his people and his beliefs. Many articles have been written depicting his struggle and victory to become the President over the same people who once oppressed him and his fellow Africans. While his story is structured around his leadership during those years, his true inspiration came after his release from prison.
Mandela endured years of hardship while in prison. He could have returned to society with bitterness and revenge in his heart. Instead, Mandela inspired millions to shed anger, hatred and retribution. He encouraged working together to overcome injustice. He crossed racial and religious barriers to bring his country together to begin the process of healing. He taught others to apply grace instead of judgment. His legacy of forgiveness and service will live for generations to come. I know it has inspired me.
As we remember Mandela, we should remember what his life represented. Mandela lived a n enriched, purposeful and selfless life. We can all take a look around us and see how we can make a difference and sacrifice for others. We can give back to our community in time, money, and resources. We can also give intangible gifts of service like kindness, forgiveness, laughter, joy and our hearts.
During this time of homage of Mandela's life, find a new way to give. Volunteer at a shelter. Find a neighbor, family member or friend in need. Donate funds to a cause or mission. It only takes one person to change the course of history and improve the lives others.
Mandela was just one man. Mandela's life choices saved millions.
There are many life changing organizations available.
Here are a few I support:
Faith For Change: Just One Tour -
If you would like to help change the course of the lives of teens, consider making a donation to the Just One Tour, an outreach created give African youth hope and the will to win.
Focusing on supplying basic needs for children around the world to break the cycle of poverty.
Central Union Mission - based in Washington DC, Central Union Mission gives shelter, food, clothing and other resources to help the city's homeless and poverty stricken citizens. http://www.missiondc.org/