The title of a recently released Bloomberg article is “Nelson Mandela, Led South Africa Past Apartheid, Dies” (Web-site/URL: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-12-05/nelson-mandela-who-led-south-africa-past-apartheid-dies-at-95.html).
“Nelson Mandela, the freedom fighter who emerged from 27 years in prison to become South Africa’s first elected black president and a global symbol of RECONCILIATION, has died. He was 95″.
“He died at 8:50 p.m. yesterday (December 5 2013) at his home in Houghton, Johannesburg, South African President Jacob Zuma said in a televised speech to the nation. In September (2013), he was discharged from a hospital, where he had been treated since June (2013) for a RECURRING lung infection“. A hospital stay from JUNE until SEPTEMBER should have been our first clue that Mandela’s days were NUMBERED.
According to U.S. President Barack Obama, “I am one of the COUNTLESS millions who DREW INSPIRATION FROM Nelson Mandela’s life. The day he was released from prison gave me a sense of what human beings can do when they’re guided by their HOPES and NOT by their fears“. “hope” instead of “fear” has also been one OBAMA‘s mantras/philosophies/slogans. “So long as I live, I will do what I can to learn from him” more specifically to CARRY ON HIS LEGACY of “hope”.
“Former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan wrote on Mandela’s 85th birthday”: “Mandela was “probably the single most ADMIRED (and) most RESPECTED international figure in the entire world”. This is certainly something that VERY FEW people in the world can claim. “I cite his READY WILLINGNESS TO EMBRACE AND RECONCILE WITH THOSE WHO PERSECUTED HIM THE MOST, and the GRACE with which he stuck to his promise to serve only ONE presidential term” UNLIKE some CAPITOL HILL politicians who say that politics DON’T matter and repeatedly play politics RIGHT BEFORE AN ELECTION. BLANCHE LINCOLN did this in 2010 with the “I don’t even know what the bill is gonna be” nonsense (Web-site/URL: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vMFIQ7ERdPI).
“DENOUNCED by U.K. Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher as a “terrorist” in the 1980s, Mandela became a statesman who visited Queen Elizabeth II and counted former U.S. President Bill Clinton as a personal friend”. There are THREE things to note here. First “denounced” is the latest/yet another example of BLAMING & CRITICIZING (Web-site/URL: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u-AJviZ8Itk). We can understand why Thatcher would call Mandela such a name because Thatcher is CONSERVATIVE (Web-site/URL: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Margaret_Thatcher) while Mandela counted CLINTON “as a personal friend”.. Clinton of course as we know is a DEMOCRAT (Web-site/URL: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bill_Clinton).
In 1998. Clinton said: “Every time NELSON MANDELA walks into a room, we all feel a little BIGGER, we all want to STAND UP (and) we all want to CHEER, because we’d like to be HIM on our BEST day”. Clinton made similar remarks at SARGENT SHRIVER‘s funeral: “he REALLY WAS THAT good…and maybe EVEN BETTER” (Web-site/URL: http://www.cnn.com/video/data/2.0/video/us/2011/01/22/funeral.clinton.shriver.pool.html).
“He won the trust of Frederik Willem de Klerk the last president of South Africa elected in a WHITES-ONLY election“, in their first meeting”. de Klerk was South Africa’s last apartheid-era President between SEPTEMBER 20, 1989 and MAY 9, 1994 (Web-site/URL: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/F._W._de_Klerk). “Their relationship helped keep talks on course over the next four years as violence raged on the streets of South Africa’s townships”.
“In an interview with PBS radio”, de Klerk said: “I went away from that meeting feeling that I was dealing with a man whose INTEGRITY I COULD TRUST, that I COULD DO BUSINESS WITH”. We’re sort of LONGING for that kind of trust these days because POLITICIANS seem to be CONSTANTLY AT EACH OTHER’S THROATS.
“In a 1999 interview”, Bishop Desmond Tutu, “the Nobel laureate and chairman of the Truth and RECONCILIATION (?) Commission”, told Bloomberg News: ““Our goal was GENERAL AMNESTY in exchange for THE TRUTH”. “the truth” often NEVER comes out. “It was THE ONLY WAY we could heal a TORMENTED, DIVIDED and FRAGMENTED people”. Mandela HELD these “tormented divided and fragmented people” TOGETHER.
According to Nadine Gordimer, “a South African novelist and Nobel laureate for literature”, “Mandela set an example of FORGIVENESS for the country as a whole“. “forgiveness” again is now getting EXTREMELY RARE for POLITICIANS. “She described him as “a revolutionary leader of ENORMOUS COURAGE” and “a political NEGOTIATOR of EXTRAORDINARY SKILL and WISDOM, a statesman in the cause of PEACEFUL change”. The word that should jump off the page at us is “negotiator” because VERY FEW POLITICIANS “negotiate” anymore; in fact POLITICIANS HARDLY “negotiate” anymore because of RIGID PERSONAL IDEOLOGIES.
“Mandela was drawn to politics in his teens while listening to elders talk about the freedom they had before white rule”.
“In court in 1964 when facing charges of SABOTAGE“, Mandela said: “Among the tales they related to me were those of wars fought by our ancestors IN DEFENSE OF THE FATHERLAND. “I hoped then that life might offer me the opportunity to SERVE MY PEOPLE”. He got that “opportunity”.
“Nelson Mandela was born on July 18, 1918, in the remote village of Mvezo in the south-east of South Africa. The son of a Tembu chief, he was named Rolihlahla, meaning “TROUBLEMAKER,” until his first day at school. His teacher, Miss Mdingane, gave him the name Nelson to conform to the British BIAS (?) in education“. Well EVERYONE is “biased”, with the most recent being CHINA regarding the SENKAKU Islands.
“Mandela, educated at a missionary school, fled home at 23 to dodge a marriage arranged by a white guardian, who described his future wife as “a girl, FAT and dignified”. This is another one of those ‘hot button’ topics, because for many women “fat” IS NOT “dignified”. Mandela himself was married THREE times: EVELYN NTOKO MASE (1944-1967; DIVORCED), WINNIE MADIKIZELA (1958-1996; DIVORCED) and finally to GRACA MACHEL (1998-2013; HIS DEATH). So, like all POLITICIANS, Mandela WAS NOT without controversy in his personal life. Mandela’s marriage to MASE was ” marred by the multiple strains of his ADULTERY“. So, MANDELA can (SHOULD?) also be included in ABC‘s BARBARA WALTERS’ documentary “Sex and the Political Wife”. Mase DID NOT “stand by her man” (Web-site/URL: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rTmbgMkYUWE).
“Conducting his own defense in 1964, Mandela spelled out a dream of racial equality, declaring (that) “it is an ideal which I HOPE to live for and to achieve. But IF NEED BE, it is an ideal for which I am prepared to DIE”. This was A STRONG CONVICTION.
Finally, according to Nic Borain, “a political analyst based in Cape Town (South Africa)”, “His real legacy is the period after the negotiations, where he CONSISTENTLY PREACHED RECONCILIATION. There were criticisms of him being AUTHORITARIAN, but there was never any sense of him being MEAN-SPIRITED or of putting himself before the country”. Well, “He could be stern and demanding of his children, although he was more affectionate with his grandchildren” (Web-site/URL: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nelson_Mandela#Personal_life), so we could POTENTIALLY call this A FAULT, although this ISN’T uncommon, even today. After all, NO ONE IS A SAINT.
To conclude, let’s return once again to the first sentence of this article: “Nelson Mandela the freedom fighter who emerged from 27 years in prison to become South Africa’s first elected black president and a global symbol of reconciliation”. as we know, is a PRECIOUS commodity these days. This truly is THE END OF AN ERA. If nothing else, Mandela’s life can be summed up by something we heard in the invocation for CAPTAIN WILL SWENSON when Swenson received the Medal of Honor: We must “UPHOLD THE RIGHT (and) OPPOSE THE WRONG“ (Web-site/URL: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7GWVSV1vl6A), REGARDLESS OF OUR CITIZENSHIP or POLITICAL PARTY/AFFILIATION. Like EUNICE KENNEDY SHRIVER (1921-2009), TED KENNEDY (1932-2009), ELIZABETH EDWARDS (1949-2010) and SARGENT SHRIVER (1915-2011) before him, Nelson Mandela spent virtually all of his adult life and fought with all of his might to make the world a better, more just and compassionate place and WE WILL DO THAT IN HIS HONOR.