In Memoriam: Nelson Mandela

Today the world lost a wonderful man. Today the world lost Nelson Mandela. In college I took a South African Literature class and learned a lot about South Africa and apartheid. Not only was he a man who showed extreme courage and stood up for what he believed was right, he also had a remarkable lack of anger over the injustice done to him (hello, 27 years of incarceration?!). He was a man who actually practiced what he preached.

More than anything, to me, Nelson Mandela embodied peace. And he’s credited with some amazingly inspiring quotes:

  • “It always seems impossible until it’s done.” – seriously, this is how I feel about my marathon!
  • “A fundamental concern for others in our individual and community lives would go a long way in making the world the better place we so passionately dreamt of.”
  • “Everyone can rise above their circumstances and achieve success if they are dedicated to and passionate about what they do.”
  • “I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.”
  • “Resentment is like drinking poison and then hoping it will kill your enemies.”
  • “Do not judge me by my successes, judge me by how many times I fell down and got back up again.”

What is amazing is how the South African people are reacting. While, as expected, there are tears, the South African people celebrating Mandela’s life by singing, dancing, and sharing his message of love and peace. I truly hope his legacy continues and that his message of peace and love continues to get propagated around the world. While the world lost a wonderful man today, God gained a very special soul. Rest in peace, Nelson Mandela.

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