A True Legend!
“Never giving up on my dream of a free and just society! Equal opportunity for all is the dream that I live for, laying these long lonely nights in my cell this dream grows stronger. For this dream I’m prepared to die! I see a brand new day a dawning”. Nelson Mandela!
I can say without a shadow of a doubt that the time I spent in South Africa was the catalyst to the transformation of my thinking and my life! I went to South Africa at a time when I was focused on “making it” and “making it” was having a big job, many letters behind my name, a nice car and all the material trappings that society says you need to make it! In my mind I was almost there! I was working for a world renowned company, making dollars, well for my age! I lived in a lovely place overlooking the Thames and I was on just on my way to making it! And then I went to South Africa, and then I went to South Africa and then I went to South Africa!!
I boarded the ferry to go to Robben Island, the infamous prison where Nelson Mandela and the other political prisoners were held. As I sat on the ferry I imagined their ride over, mine was pretty pleasant but on those choppy waters with rocks and other “creatures” in the water I thought about how they were taken to jail for demanding basic human rights! As I got to the Island they took us through the booking system – how they booked prisoners. Then to the cell where Mandela spent most of his life! I was choking up! The cell had a blanket a bucket and books! They showed us where they ate and worked and what caused his lung and eye problems, sitting all day busting limestone! The man became the President of the country and forgave every single one of his transgressors! He led with humility, poise, grace and compassion! He proved the whole concept of forgiveness sets you free, that you can do anything with faith and belief and for this he was prepared to die!
I spent the entire day on Robben Island and it jolted me out of my selfish way of thinking, that my life is about making money and being a big shotter! It made me think of leaving the world a better place than I found it, it made me think about what am I willing to die for? How am I impacting the world! It took a while for me to act on these changes but I will always remember my time in South Africa and the man who is truly truly a legend!
Sometimes we just act powerless because it’s become a habit to act powerless. Start anywhere. Start where you are. Cultivate an attitude of service, and watch what happens.
As Marianne Williamson says “We all just need to be more loving. Every moment is an invitation to show more compassion, to be a better version of ourselves. It’s simple enough, of course, but not always easy. Any moment we get it right, though, is a moment when we help enlighten the world”RIP Mr Mandela