Theme:– Operation C.R.U.S.H. Against Gun Violence, Bias and Clouded Vision
Almost immediately kind words began pouring in from world leaders. One said we lost a giant. Another talked about him as a model of forgiveness and reconciliation. Oprah said Mandela will always be her hero. Rewind a few decades and we see a journey that comes close to being the ultimate in sacrifice.
As a young boy his life was on a typical track but as a young man Mandela chose an atypical path. He began to challenge his country’s track-record of social injustice. This landed him in prison for 27 years. There were many who joined the chorus to free Mandela. As fate would have it, he changed the nation.
His story is one of taking a stand. He stood on the side of ‘right’ even when it wasn’t convenient. He stood for a set of principles even when it rattled his popularity. Some see Mandela as a mash-up of Washington, Lincoln and Dr. King. He brought revolution, emancipation and inspiration in his lifetime.
But he’s also a mash-up of more distant heroes. While in prison he may have used an ‘Ezekiel eye’ to see his people in the ‘valley of dry bones’ oppressed by Apartheid. Later, his ‘Joseph journey’ took him from prison to the Palace. Along the way he had his ‘Moses moments’ in leading the country to higher ground.
So back to today’s reflections and we see a man who was once hated but now immensely loved. He was treated like scum of the earth but is now revered as statesman of the ages. Mandela didn’t allow his life to be crushed by social injustice but instead used conviction and convincing to crush social injustice.
Footnote: We can easily say that Nelson Mandela’s life was more than a blip on the radar. It was like a shining star that trail-blazed across the open sky for the whole world to see and love.