Happy Birthday Nelson Mandela! Madiba turns 95 today, talk about a life well-lived! I salute you sir for all the sacrifices that you made that benefited not only South Africa but the rest of the world . I wish you well on this day. (I am hoping that this message will get to him through six degrees of separation…ambitious I know)
Mandela Day is more than a celebration of the man, his life and legacy. It is a day of service to humanity. A call to people to take action and positively change the world. It doesn’t have to be in a grand way, it could also be in the small ways, for example, organizing a beach cleanup, reading books to children, and helping someone edit their resume, among others.
The beauty of Mandela Day is that it inspires people to give as they wish and in whatever capacity they can. I think that we could all benefit from letting the spirit of Mandela Day overflow into the rest of the year. Madiba gave 67 years to service and on Mandela Day people pledge 67 minutes of their day to improving the world. What if we made that 67 days of service to humanity? They say it takes 21 days for something to become a habit. By the 67th day your positive actions will have morphed into a way of life. I think that that would go a long way in creating the kind of accepting and compassionate communities that we would all love to be a part of.
Speaking of taking action…I believe that reading is powerful. There is a lot of knowledge to be gained between the front and back cover of a book. Also, as they say, sharing is caring. Here are two books that I have read on Mandela that provide a lot of insight on him…Long Walk to Freedom and Conversations With Myself. I recommend them to all of you. (Hey, if you’re going to celebrate the man you might as well know more about him…right!?) Also, a film titled Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom is set to be released in November, starring…wait for it…wait for it…Idris Elba. I know, curious choice but it’s Idris Elba people! But I digress.
Back to Madiba. Here are some videos that I thought you might enjoy…
The time Madiba got on stage and asked the audience to join him in dancing .
“Well, it is music and dancing that makes me at peace with the world and at peace with myself.”
Then there was this Madiba poem by Botlhale Boikanyo. I can’t even express how this made me and I am sure many other people feel.
“Freedom is an ideal I want to live for but if need be freedom is an ideal I am prepared to die for.”
And finally, some of my favorite quotes from Madiba…
“No one is born hating another person because of the color of his skin, or his background, or his religion. People must learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love, for love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite”
“A nation should not be judged by how it treats its highest citizens, but it’s lowest ones.”
“For to be free is not merely to cast off one’s chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others.”
Enjoy your Mandela Day!