Reflections on Nelson Mandela

William T. Robinson, Jr.

William T. Robinson, Jr.

I liken the passing of Nelson Mandela as the diminishing of a lovely cool breeze, the departure of a magnificent light and the passing of an innocent non-compromising love. I only wonder if the young people of the world truly know what they have lost in the demise of such a monumental and profoundly respected human being. He resonated love, respect and dignity for all humanity. He represented the symbol for hope and promise and that anything is possible in this sometimes-gloomy man driven world. He represented the spiritual good and empathy that can be found in us all if we only take the time and introspectively acknowledge its presence.

Mandela’s legacy cannot be diluted or compromised. He provided the world with an example that must be emulated if this world is to grow in love, justice and righteousness. His road was not one of mere words but of pain, suffering and blatant persecution to eventually manifest through unrelenting hope and perseverance proving righteousness can prevail. His is a story that helped the world to see that racism, bigotry, discrimination and inequality are not a Black or White thing but a wrong thing needing to be addressed and rectified. It was through his tenacity, courage, and unswerving efforts in achieving equality as an anti-apartheid activist that he has evolved as a legendary iconic giant symbolizing that love can and will eventually conquer hate.

Nelson Mandela had every right to respond bitterly and vindictively to his adversaries responsible for 27 years of imprisonment. Imprisonment on grounds of him being a political agitator, advocating against the nationwide practice of apartheid by the White racist regime. But he refused to be held a prisoner of hate and revenge after his long-fought-for release from prison. He gracefully embraced love and sought to forgive those who oppressed him and his race—to go forward, creating a South Africa that all its citizens could be proud to be a part of. Such love is beyond commendable. It is inspirational and monumental in scope. Such is a lesson that should be repeated over and over throughout nations all around the world, promoting freedom and human rights.

There will continue to be a lot favorably written about Mandela in the pages of history. But families should take the time and educate their children (who may not know) of Mandela’s legacy of struggle and love. It is important to take the time to teach children about his profound influence and commitment to bringing about change—regardless of the consequences set before him. Tell the children how he was able to mobilize a whole nation to support him as the first Black president of a formerly racist apartheid South Africa. Let it be known how he peacefully helped transform his beloved South Africa to a democracy. Let Nelson Mandela’s story inspire people to stand up for what is right, regardless of the political ramifications from oppressive self-serving governments or administrations.

I can’t speak for everyone but Nelson Mandela reinforced in me that in the end, righteousness will eventually prevail—regardless of man’s attempt to control. God undoubtedly, will have the finally say. Hope and an undaunted mission to secure equality, freedom, and human rights for all should never be lost. Hopefully, a whole new generation will follow Mandela’s vision to build a better world, insuring human rights and freedom for all.

Thank you Nelson Mandela. The world is a much better place because of you. You will continue to live through those you have inspired. You leave a numerous army of conscious followers committed to carry on your dream of equality and freedom through promoting human rights.