Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Celebrating a Hero

I do not pretend that Nelson Mandela is perfect. What I do affirm is the astounding way he has resisted the urge to respond in kind. Imagine spending 30 years in prison under an oppressive regime -- 30 years -- then upon your release, walking out and committing to rebuild a nation through peaceful means. Has the African National Congress always operated without violence? Of course not. But if Mandela had responded to apartheid in the same spirit, my sense is that the nation of South Africa would have been completely consumed in violence and civil war.

This Nobel Peace Prize recipient turned 90 years old on July 18, and was celebrated by a huge crowd at a concert in London's Hyde Park.

Happy Birthday, Mr. Mandela. My hat is off to you, one of the stateliest statesmen I know.

Click here to watch a 4-minute audio slideshow of this man's extraordinary life.


tish said...

Hi Dave.
I was in Lausanne when Nelson Mandela was released so I watched it on tv. As a S. African it was a powerful moment. I remember when he was arrested, I was very young but the adults made a lot of noise about it...anyway this link celebrates a man with colourful shirts and great wisdom...the cartoon will refresh on friday so don't miss it ;)

darrell a. harris said...

methinks thou dost speak wisdom, mon frere.

we live in such a polarized culture.
if one leans towards the left, everything on the right is "of the devil."
and if one leans toward the right . . . well, vice versa.

i took a little online quizz the other day called "the political compass."
it was so interesting, because it helped to tease out the nuances of one's "political position."

i think one of the reasons we are so deadened and disillusioned by the political process is we are neutralized by the polarized stereotypes.

i'm convinced that anyone who tries to walk in the "ways of the wise," "the way of the cross" or any non-partisan road of integrity, however flawed, will be villafied by someone.

thanks for your writing.
you always inspire.