In de voetsporen van Nelson Mandela

Vorig jaar was ik er nog: Zuid-Afrika. Het land van Nelson Mandela, maar ook het land van 'Wilderness Guide' en goede vriend Alan McSmith. Twee jaar geleden mocht ik Alan ontmoeten tijdens de onvergetelijke Wilderness Trailin Botswana, die ik samen met enkele collega trainees maakte (zie ook mijn eerdere blog 'Trainees zonder grenzen’). ‘From under the big tree’ stuurde Alan mij onderstaande blog, die ik graag met jullie deel. Vakantietijd is immers niet alleen een tijd van ontspanning maar ook van bezinning...

Nelson Mandela, a seminal world leader, is currently in hospital in a critical condition. The prospect of his passing has created a world-wide media frenzy, culminating in mass hysteria, concern, hype and controversy. His 95th birthday is on Thursday (July 18). His family is embroiled in an ugly public feud. President Barack Obama has come to our country and gone. Political rivalry is intensifying. Scenes from the hospital are on TV every night.

Where is the dignity for this man?
The dignity he stood for his entire life; the integrity he was prepared to die for; the humility that through him and only him, transcended a remote African country and throbbed around the world like the mightiest of tsunamis, bringing peoples, cultures, religions together like nothing before nor since. Mandela is, was, and always will be a giant amongst men. His legacy is only beginning. 
Some time ago, while he was the president, he was grocery shopping in a supermarket. A lady walked past him pushing her two year old son in a pram. Upon recognising him, she stopped and spoke. “Mr President,” she asked, “would you be gracious enough to greet my son, and although he is too young to understand, I will be able to tell him some day that he met Nelson Mandela.” The president smiled gently and walked over to the pram. “Hello young man,” he said, “I sincerely hope to be as important as you one day.”
Humility indeed.
By reading this message, you are taking a moment from your busy day to celebrate the power of humanity, and how it can transform our world. Just as we should be celebrating the life and legacy of Nelson Mandela.
Use his courage to follow your hearts.
Fijne vakantie!


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