Friday, December 6, 2013

Prisoner, President, Legend

Yesterday afternoon the news broke that Nelson Mandela had died at the age of 95. He's been in poor health for a while and was in the hospital for several months earlier this year, so the news of his passing didn't come as a surprise.
Mandela spent twenty seven years in prison for fighting against apartheid and for standing up for racial equality. He didn't let the unfairness of the situation turn him hateful and bitter, though, which is pretty remarkable. After being released from prison he went on to be elected the first black president of South Africa and did a lot to heal the wounds of apartheid.

Pictures of Mandela with the last four US presidents (George H. W. Bush, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush and Barack Obama):
Above is a picture of the Obama family visiting the tiny 8 x 8 cell on Robben Island (the "Alcatraz" of South Africa) where Mandela spent 18 of his 27 year prison sentence.

There have been lots of interviews on TV today where well-known people (including celebrities and political figures) shared their thoughts about Nelson Mandela's wonderful legacy. Prince William said something about Mandela's "tragic passing" and I found that interesting. I wouldn't call Mandela's death tragic in the least; he was 95 and lived an inspiring life. Onto a bright future in heaven!

As I watched the montages of Mandela's life that have been all over TV the past 24 hours, I can't get over how much Barack Obama looks like Nelson Mandela in some of the pictures. It's not really that they look alike, but that they have similar mouths/smiles.
Nelson was truly a wise, insightful man and had the kind of character that I want to have. Here are some of my favorite "Mandela-isms" that I came across as I searched the Internet for material for my post:
I love the above quote; what a wonderful example Nelson Mandela was of turning the other cheek! He really put these words into action:

"But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you." – Matthew 5:44
I don't know as much about Nelson Mandela as I'd like to, so I'm looking forward to seeing the upcoming movie Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom. I first heard about this movie last month and thought it looked really good. It's a definite "must-see" that I'm eagerly anticipating.
Idris Elba as Mandela:


Tina said...

Great post Heather! He was and IS still a great man!

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