Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Nelson Mandela: A leader extraordinaire

“After climbing a great hill, one only finds that there are many more hills to climb.”Mandela

It was recently Nelson Mandela’s ninety-third birthday. We live today in an era marked by cynicism about politics, the political process, and the ability to bring about real social change. We are too used to politicians who are corrupt and self-serving, who lie to the people they are supposed to serve. However, this cynicism melts away when looking at the life of Nelson Mandela, realizing that change is possible, that one can be an idealist and not be naïve.

Nelson Mandela is one of the most extraordinary people alive today – someone who fits with the great tradition of freedom fighters like Gandhi and Martin Luther King. Mandela risked everything to fight against the unjust system of apartheid in South Africa; he was imprisoned for twenty-seven years, endured hardship, separated from his family. Upon release, where many would have sought vengeance, he forgave his captors.

That a freedom fighter and political prisoner could go on to become president of the once apartheid country of South Africa is extraordinary. Nelson Mandela played a key role in ending the horrors of apartheid, in ending a terrible injustice, and bringing new hope to the people of South Africa.

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