Rest In Peace, Tata.

As you have probably heard by now, Nelson Mandela has died. He has lost his long battle with ill health, and people great and humble alike are remembering him. One particular tribute has struck a note with me, though. Prime Minister David Cameron said “A light has gone out in the world”. Mr. Prime Minister, I must disagree.

Nelson Mandela, the person, is gone. We will hear no new words of guidance, of peace, of reconciliation. But the words and deeds he has done will only be lost if we, the beneficiaries direct and indirect, forget him. Then, and only then, will his light be extinguished. For if even one person speaks out for equality, if one person stands for the rights of others, if one person keeps alive the ideas and ideals of Mr. Mandela, then his light will never be extinguished.

So it is up to us. We, who lived when Mandela first was imprisoned, we who watched his struggle and leadership from behind bars, we who saw him freed to become the first black President of South Africa, and we, who share with the South African people both our sorrow at his passing and our joy of knowing of him, to carry that memory. We must take up his light as a torch to guide us to a better world, where race truly means nothing, where all have equal access to peace and freedom, where we can truly be as one. Only then, will we be truly worthy of the light he gave us.

Godspeed, and Rest Easy.

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13 Responses to Rest In Peace, Tata.

  1. tom says:

    Or without riling you up too much. was Mandela an accident of history and 28 years in prison while the hard work of change by the F.W. deKlerk Administration ends up in the dust pan of histor?.

    • Yin and yang, my friend. It takes leaders on both sides of an issue to make change. DeKlerk could have simply clamped down and turned a peaceful transition away from apartheid into a bloody civil war. And yes, that’s a very good call on your behalf – we should remember those who worked with Mandela to affect the change that South Africa so desperately needed. (And you should know it takes an AWFUL lot to rile me up! šŸ˜‰ )

  2. Deborah the Closet Monster says:

    Love this post, John. I hope we can remember this feeling today and let it guide us for many, many days to come.

    • Thanks. I’ve always had a small problem with the extreme importance we put on mourning the passing of someone, when we should celebrate their lives and remember their gifts to us. I got that driven home VERY hard, when my mother passed – I had to concentrate on honouring her memory, or I would’ve gone nuts.
      Thanks again!

  3. aFrankAngle says:

    Amen for Nelson Mandela serving as a guiding light for a better world.

  4. fasab says:

    It will be interesting to see what happens in SA now.

    • I think South Africa will be okay – they do still have labor problems, but those are relatively minor, compared to the rest of the continent. It’s Central Africa that really needs some kind of peaceful inspiration, from the wreckage of Somalia across through the DRC and CAR to Mali. Let’s hope that Bruce Willis’ quote in “Tears Of The Sun” is wrong, and that God hasn’t left Africa.

  5. fasab says:

    I hope you are right. But all it takes is for a Mugabe to assume power by whatever means and it all goes pear shaped.

    • Yes, but I think SA is stable enough right now, even taking into account the poverty and labour problems. I’d keep my eye on the Central African Republic, where France may end up in a war, along with DRC and Mali. And let’s not forget northern Africa – Libya, Egypt, Somalia …. sometimes it seems like Africa is the bad-luck magnet of Earth.

  6. benzeknees says:

    You’re right John, for as long as people remember Nelson Mandela & his message then his influence and good works will stay. We tend to remember the people who have such good strong ideas, like Martin Luther King Jr.

  7. Pingback: The nurturer, the warrior and the blogger | The Monster in Your Closet

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