The death of Nelson Mandela marks the end of an era of transformative leaders. We were fortunate to have Mr. Mandela as a part of our lives for such a long time; some would argue God was only being fair since we humans took away 27 years of his life through unjust incarceration. Too many of the leaders of his generation were taken from us prematurely. Those like Mr. Mandela who preached unity and forgiveness, seem to be quickly silenced by a few that only want to divide humanity and espouse the destructive ideas of superiority, greed and selfishness.
The passing of this incredible leader only begs the question; “Who among us will stand up for the value for which he advocated so fiercely?” In this moment of hating those who have very little because they are poor, idolizing the few who want to hoard what they have been privileged to gain, and forgetting the importance of the many who fall in the middle, is there someone out there who can pick up the mantle and bring together all of humanity under the singular purpose of our “greater good?”
With the incredible outcry of loss which is emanating from all corners of the globe, we should never forget Nelson Mandela’s legacy was not just what he did to free the people of South Africa. His true message was what his actions and perseverance symbolized for all of mankind. All South Africans, white and black, who revel in the notion that Mr. Mandela was the “father” of their nation, can teach everyone of the world the importance of overcoming the misdeeds of the past and moving forward to a brighter tomorrow, without holding grudges or resentments.
Too many want to look back and preach that our future lies in the traditions which made up our history, but Nelson Mandela through his own trials and tribulations demonstrated that our future is unwritten, and only through a constant belief in the goodness of our humanity will the future bring us the greatest gifts. Mr. Mandela embodied the beauty which is there in all of us. He allowed us to everyday know that if we doubted how good mankind could be, all we had to do is think that there was a man on earth who was a symbol of that goodness, and for that he will be truly missed.