As you have probably heard, Nelson Mandela has passed away today. I am not writing this post to share that news story, necessarily. If you follow me on Twitter, you likely noticed a series of re-tweets this afternoon. It felt like the best thing I could do to share some of the thoughts of others about this man, Nelson Mandela.
Mandela according to Rosabeth Moss Kanter, was the “best leader of the century, who believed in people.” I can’t help but agree. As Senator Cory Booker said, “Humanity has lost one of our greatest…Thank you for teaching us a deeper meaning of love, leadership & sacrifice.” You can see more of the quotes on my Twitter feed.
I write this post, not to write something earth shattering but to offer my respect, appreciation, and gratitude. Nelson Mandela, is perhaps the best example of two of three core themes of this blog, leadership and neighbor love. Mandela’s life, writing, and work all show how he was a great leader, just as they speak to his appreciation and sense for his neighbors and each other. Though Mandela leaves us today on earth, he certainly is being welcomed home and being told, “well done, good and faithful servant.” Mandela touched and affected much of the world in one way or another. I strive to be able to be a small reflection of that in whatever way I can.
I leave you with three of my favorite quotes often attributed to Mandela:
“For to be free is not merely to cast off one’s chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others.”
“Overcoming poverty is not a task of charity, it is an act of justice.”
“As we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people the permission to do the same.” [This was actually written by Marianne Williamson]
Thank you Nelson Mandela. May we, today’s humanity, whom you have touched and shaped let our lights shine and enhance the freedom of others.
If you would like to read some other great quotes from Nelson Mandela, here is a great collection from CBS News.