I want to be clear that the title is simply because of my month’s theme, though, I believe that Nelson Mandela wouldn’t want the world to grieve his passing. He didn’t posses any kind of narcissism in his body that would allow him to want people to grieve for him. He wasn’t a man of ego or arrogance. He simply believed in people, he believed in humanity and worked to better it every day.
It may seem peculiar to include Mr. Mandela’s passing in my theme “Merry December,” but I feel it’s fitting. Part of what I hope to accomplish this month is to help spread cheer, to be merry if you will. December is full of holidays that are designed to help bring people together; to share in the spirit of humanity and of giving. I want to focus on the good that happens with people because despite how it may feel on a daily basis, there are many good people out there doing good things for the right reasons. Mandela believed in that.
I already stated that I feel Mandela wouldn’t want people to grieve for him. I think he’d rather celebrate. I agree. Yes, it is sad that we’ve lost such a wonderful light in this world but it is better to focus on the knowledge that such a man lived. I can’t imagine how different our world would be if we hadn’t had him to show us things like perseverance and true triumph. What would South Africa really be like if he had succumbed to his time in prison? Mandela stood against not just racism but injustice of all people. He stood against poverty and cruel treatment of other people by those in power. He showed us so much about the power of what one human being can do.
We always look to the Mandelas of the world; the Gandhis, the Mother Theresas, etc. Truth we, we should be looking to ourselves. We all have the ability to positively influence this world if only we would allow it to happen. That was what Mandela was trying to really show us. He wanted us to know that we can make the changes we want to see happen; it’s up to us to take the opportunity and run with it. It may be that we take small steps to better the world, a extra smile here and there or lending an ear to someone even if we don’t want to (i.e. my friend Kenneth is an expert at this *wink). It seems small, but in truth, any kindness and generosity we show to another person, is a way we help make this world better.
Gandhi once said “We must be the change we wish to see in the world.” Mandela was doing just that; working to make the changes he wanted to see. He has so changed the world in such an incredibly positive way, I’m not sure it can ever really be measured. We thank you Nelson Mandela for all you have done for us! Rest in peace! We will miss you, but your legacy will live on forever.