Guest Author - Dawn Denton
Nelson Mandela has had an incredible life journey and will leave this world having made an enormous difference.
On a personal level he followed a dream and he did not allow any obstacles or doubt to deter him. He remained focused in his desire to achieve success. He made an impact on his family too. On the positive side, he was a hero to his children, something every father wants to be. But on the negative side he left his family and sacrificed being with them for a mission outside of the family unit. He is a father, a son, a brother, an uncle and a husband, and yet for so many years of his life he was not able to fulfil these roles as they should've been.
Nelson united his community. He pulled the African National Congress (ANC) together by providing leadership and vision. He gave them motivation to continue the fight for what was right. Some will disagree with their methods, but overall it was a fight they were prepared to take on against all odds. Many say their fight was lost – look at South Africa today. Is this really what they fought for?
Nationally Mandela was instrumental in making the change South Africa needed. There were of course other factors, but his role was vital in bringing about the shift in the country. This impacted on the lives of millions inside and outside of her boundaries. Hundreds of thousands, if not millions, crossed borders in dangerous conditions to join life in the African ‘land of milk and honey’. They hoped to leave the corruption, unrest and instability of their home countries and follow the African dream, a dream South Africa promised. With freedom came an influx of people who shared the vision of the future. Africa was transforming herself from the southern tip, northwards, and Nelson Mandela was at the helm.
Internationally Mandela has given hope to millions who were, and still are, suffering injustice. He has become a symbol for what can be achieved with perseverance and belief in a better future. Many gained strength from his success to continue their own struggle in so many different forms.
Nelson’s wisdom and understanding of human nature shifted something on the spiritual plain. Forgiveness has not been so clearly presented by anyone in many years, or even centuries. He has shown us how to forgive without bitterness, anger and revenge, but rather with love, respect and empathy. His thoughts on life and the simplicity in which he explains concerns and upset, has given him a status few on the planet have or ever will achieve. His goodness is like a blanket that keeps all religions, races and nationalities warm and makes us feel secure, loved and appreciated.
On his deathbed, Nelson Mandela will be celebrated, not as a god-like figure, but as a man who showed the world that patience and compassion can be more effective in initiating change than extremism and anger. Nelson Mandela will be remembered as a man who epitomizes what it means to truly be human!