Nelson Mandela in his long walk to freedom transcended all cultural, gender, racial, political and religious affiliation. That’s why he was able to bring a unity and a oneness the scale of which is incredibly rare in our world. In a sense he belonged to all, yet was owned by none. In him there was no “us” and “them.” In his life and example he demonstrated the kind of humanity our world is desperately calling for.
I would hope that as we celebrate his life and pay tribute to him in these coming days, that this universality of his presence will be uppermost in all we do and say, because herein lies his greatness. His roots cannot be denied and must be celebrated, but his greatness, his impact and person-hood goes well beyond them. Ultimately, he belongs to the world and an unseen universal reality we know very little of.
Nelson Mandela is no longer with us. As President Obama said last night, “He now belongs to the ages.” Even though we knew his death was imminent, how can we ever grasp it’s impact on our nation and our world? We in South Africa will always remember that highly vulnerable and volatile moment after his release, when our nation was poised on the edge of a violent, vengeful, and destructive path of transition, how through his sheer forgiving and reconciliatory presence, he moved us in to a new future of peace and reconciliation. With what words do we thank and pay tribute to him for such an act of immense statesmanship and graciousness. There are none, only a deep and grateful silence. Thank you, thank you Nelson Mandela for your life and for leading us through the most dangerous moment in our nation’s history. May your legacy continue to embed itself in us all.
She placed an extra blanket over him, looked down into his face and smiled. She turned, switched off the light and closed the door. He peered up in to the darkness; four small walls holding only memories.
NB I’ll be leaving tomorrow for London so I’ll be offline for a day or two. Back soon.
I’ve just read an extremely moving and human story of a little boy who was abandoned by his mother and badly abused by his father. In all of this he befriended an 86 year old woman who saw how wounded and broken he was. She noticed the slowness of his walk and the way he always looked down with his hands tightly buried in his pockets. She desperately wanted to change this in him, so in her wisdom she decided to buy him a gift, a kite with a ball of string.
It wasn’t long and there he was, running in the field looking up, with his fingers tugging at the string and the kite diving and climbing in the sky. A simple act of kindness and loving insight, and as the story goes, this little act became the very seed of a major change and healing in his life.
Imagine the compassion, the beauty and practicality in a heart, that is able to look at a little boy who always looks down, and decide that he needs a kite. I think we’ve all needed someone like this at some stage in our lives.
I’ve been getting emails from people voicing problems with the comment section of my blog. I’m not sure what is happening that’s why I’ve been changing my themes so often; but it seems this doesn’t help. It works for a while and then comes back. I’m working on this. If there is anybody else experiencing these problems with my blog would you please let me know – thank you. I really do appreciate you telling me about this.
We were in the bush again on Sunday and came across this little scene. It was calling out to be photographed. I’ve taken shots like these quite often. For me these little scenes of light and dark always accentuate the mystery of the bush. It’s almost as if you can hear the dark and the light. It may sound a bit crazy to you, but to me they both have a sound which is uniquely their own, a bit like Laurens Van Der Post saying, that when you look up at the twinkling stars on a dark African night, you can actually hear them. I understand what he means.