I was going to refrain from the subject because I didn’t know what to say, but I finally didn’t want to let it go

mandela

I’m not much given to writing tributes and that’s mainly because I cannot think of anything to write that hasn’t already been written or stated already.

I am, of course, referring to the passing of one Nelson Mandela. Surely you’ve heard about it, unless you stepped out off the planet for a while. I mean, everybody has been talking about it.

Oh, and if you’re expecting me to be cynical or a wiseacre about Mr. Mandela’s death at age 95, you would be wrong about that. He was a rarity with me, not to mention most other people. Even the satirical newspaper The Onion noted that for the only time in history a political leader has died whom everybody liked and admired. He was a politician for whom I had unwavering respect and about whom it must be said that the planet was left a better place due to his presence upon it. He earned his place in international posterity for all time and I sincerely believe that even centuries from now his name will be revered.

Wait, you ask, was he more revered and respected than, say, Gandhi? Indeed he was. People tend to forget that Gandhi had a vast array of political enemies and he was assassinated in the end. At one point in his history Gandhi even contemplated brokering a deal with the fascistic Japanese regime of World War Two such was his hatred (justified in some cases) of the British Raj. And, he was unable to surmount either the caste system or the split between Hindu and Muslim.

Mandela, on the other hand was not only able to eradicate the hideousness of apartheid, but rose to govern the nation that had once deemed him, due to his race, a non-person and who imprisoned him for two decades.

And he came out of that incarceration not embittered and broken (as most of us would be) and not seething with hatred for his overlords, but determined to surmount via forgiveness and compassion. Very few could do the same.

I wasn’t saddened by Mr. Mandela’s passing, as he was very old, but I am saddened that among the worlds political leaders of virtually any time in history the man stands alone amongst the self-seekers, swine and trash who would presume to govern us – badly, and with their own ends in mind.

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15 responses to “I was going to refrain from the subject because I didn’t know what to say, but I finally didn’t want to let it go

  1. A stellar post and one with which I agree. Few will match him and not many will try which doesn’t say much for the majority of politicians.

  2. As much as I disliked and dislike Mulroney, he was the first leader of the G-& along with the Australian Prime Minister to come out and recognize Mandela and support his legitimacy urging his release from prison and proferring up economic sanctions. Both Regan and Thatcher, at the time, called Mandela a communist and neither supported the efforts of Mulroney. It was not a surprise, subsequently, when Mandela chose Canada as the first country he would visit following his election as the leader of South Africa

  3. make that G-7

  4. You said it all. A great man for the world is gone.

  5. When I think of Mandela, it takes me back to Psychology 101 and Kohlberg’s 6 levels of moral development. That 6th level seems so abstract and yet some people reach it. Yes, fewer than we can count on all fingers, but some have reached it – and he was one of them. Nice post.

  6. And let’s not forget the courage of De Klerk in leaving hold of entrenched power.

  7. And yet he was “a terrorist” according to my government until 2008. We’re just really good at rewriting our own history down here. He was one of my heroes and I am grateful to have lived in a world where he did, as well.

  8. We’ll not soon see another of his ilk. Guaranteed.

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