If there is a special place for magnificent souls in an after-life, in the quantum hologram of forever, Nelson Mandela will now be there.
After serving for 27 years in jail for his courageous fight against apartheid, Mandela returned to South Africa to finish what he had started. He was 72 years old! That fact alone astonishes. In 1994 he became South Africa’s first black president. He served one term, then left politics to younger leaders. His dream lived on, and it will live on forever. Mandela united the global village in his heroic struggle for freedom. His incredible journey, the last 23 years of his life, from 72 to 95 years of age, transformed us and the world.
My brother Loren would ask me, every time Mandela's name came up, which was often: “How many people could spend almost 30 years of their life in jail, for the crime of fighting for human freedom, and emerge with forgiveness in their heart?“
Not many. "We'll probably not see the likes of Nelson Mandela again," President Obama said of him. He inspired the entire world by his example, his dignity and grace. He taught that "a big heart is better than a closed mind," Bill Clinton added.
"Nelson Mandela, Nelson Mandela, there's no one else like you," South Africans sing, as they now gather together, black and white from all walks of life, to celebrate his life and the triumph of the human spirit. Creating a peaceful world through dialogue and reconciliation, in Africa, in the Middle East, around the globe, would be the very best way to honor his life. Nelson Mandela transcendent.
Memory: My first participation in an anti-apartheid protest was in 1985 at the U. of Maryland, College Park. Signs said "Divest from S. Africa" and "Free Mandela!" Lots of speeches. After that I attended several protests in front of the So African Embassy in Washington, DC. I remember when Mandela was freed from jail, and joined joyful street celebrations. He came to Washington and spoke at the old Convention Center; my friend Suzanne and I stood in a long line for hours to get in, and we did. It was thrilling, just to be in Mandela's presence. That was maybe 1995?