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"Culture is the heritage of us all. some may be more interested than others in the treasures of the past, but no one can fail to take a pride in his country's participation in the story of mankind, as represented in carvings, sculpture, music, paintings and the other arts. And there is a personal commitment to this, for no man can really say he is alone: we are all joined through our identity, with the cultures which are part of the mainstream of life"
- Simon Kapwepwe, Zambian Independence Freedom Fighter

"Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm" - Winston Churchill

"Try to be the rainbow in someone else's cloud" - Maya Angelou

"Your time is limited so don't waste it living someone else's life. Don't be trapped by dogma - which is living with the results of other people's thinking. Don't let the noise of others' opinion drown out your inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition" - Steve Jobs

Friday, 6 December 2013

Nelson Mandela: Paradigm of Legacy to Follow

I have been a little out of it recently, and have been struggling to keep up with current events.  Today I was at a bank, in line to deposit cash, when I saw "REMEMBERING MANDELA" on the TV screen  on the wall and my heart stopped.  I was momentarily paralysed as I processed the information in front of me.  A couple of months ago, I posted on Facebook that I was not ready for Mandela to die.  For selfish reasons.  One of my life goals was to meet the man.  Unfortunately I am a late bloomer and so did not make my small mark in the world in time to be able to warrant an audience with him, let alone have such a blessing granted.

I remember when he was freed in 1990, as it was a few days after my birthday.  I remember thinking that this man must be really special, as all the world is watching, people have sung songs for his freedom, and he has survived prison for what seemed like a ten lifetimes to the child I was.  Years later, when I was applying to Stanford, I not only wrote about the Matrix being closer to reality than we think as in Japan, robots were being created to be nurse maids for their ageing population and prototypes already existed, bu also about Madiba.

After those moments of shock, I was at peace when I thought about what I had written in my application.  Despite the odds the man lived a full life.  He lived in the lowest depths, in prisons both literal and proverbial that could have shackled his spirit, extinguished the fire in his soul, and yet he came out 27 years later even more determined to defend freedom, even prouder to be a Black man, a South African, an African and most impressively, even more committed to forgiveness.  Even though he had been wronged repeatedly by white South Africans, he was still willing to extend the olive branch.  Even though he didn't believe in all the actions that Black South Africans took, at times invoking his name to justify their deeds, he did not hold that against them.

The universe works in mysterious ways.  Last night I read these two articles on Forbes: the traits of mentally strong people and about how whether we like it or not, we are all creating a legacy, so we should think about what we are putting out in the world.  Mandela is probably the most mentally strong man of his generation, and of the last Century, and looking at his legacy, it is a paradigm to follow.

Though Mandela's time may have set physically in this world, his legacy will endure through the ages.  His impact will forever resonate through the world, and I am glad that I can call on it at any time to comfort, inspire and energise me to do better, to be better, to continually evolve and learn.


Can't wait to watch Idris Elba as Madiba.  Though he may not look like him, I don't think that is necessary.  The acting is more important, and from what I have seen from the trailer and Behind the Scenes shows, he has captured his essence, his charismatic and powerful presence and has done the man justice.  God is good, the omnipotent one may have taken away the man, but being omniscient, has allowed us to experience him through such a beautiful living body he he he ;}

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