Nelson Mandela - Passing the Baton
For Nelson Mandela, his part of the struggle to make our world a more peaceful and united place is done.
As the sun rises around the world today, it marks a new dawn, one in which the baton passes from him to us. To you and me.
Part of what made Nelson Mandela so unique and powerful, was that he never stopped being one of us. Although he became one of the most famous and influential people on earth, he remained humble and authentic and his connection to his fellow man remained strong to the end.
The media is filled with his image today. Social media is awash with remembrances and tributes and rightly so. But it's what we choose to do next that will determine how genuine that display of sadness really is and whether his battle was all in vain.
- Don't we now have a duty to ensure that the legacy he created lives on?
- Isn't it up to us to make sure that future generations share the lessons he fought so hard and paid such a high price for us learn?
Nelson Mandela once famously said,
"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."
And whilst we may never achieve the tremendous things that he did, nor leave such an indelible mark on history, we can all choose to live our lives according to this ethos.
Imagine how often you have felt compromised or slighted by someone else...
How many times have you said or done something knowing it would have a negative effect on someone else?
Or have you ever discovered later that something you have done has hurt someone, or in some way had a negative impact on them?
Imagine what a different place our world might be, if we all made just a little bit more effort to respect and enhance the freedom of others.
There are over 7 billion people on earth now. That's billions of people with the same potential for good as Nelson Mandela.
Nelson Mandela wasn't born special, or different. He came into this world a helpless baby and a clean slate, like every other one of those 7 billion plus others.
What made Nelson Mandela different was the choices he made and the actions he took.
Just as the choices you make and the actions you do and don't take, define you and create your life.
What can we do?
We won't all become the next Nelson Mandela. Most of us will live quiet lives. But that doesn't mean we can't live meaningful and impactful lives. We can all ensure that his legacy lives on, by teaching his values to our children and sharing his story, by remembering the sacrifices he made so that the freedom of our fellow men could be realised and by living those values ourselves.
We can choose to respect the right to freedom of others, even though we may not understand their version of freedom or the life that they choose. We can learn to forgive like Nelson Mandela did and not to judge. To work with our enemies and in doing so, make them our partners. These are things we can all do, positive choices that with thought and practice, we can all make habit.
You can never know the impact of a single, simple act. Something that costs you nothing can be priceless to someone else.
A smile, a word, an offer of help can be a glimmer of a different world, for someone who feels lost or insignificant, without hope or love.
A dollar can be worth a thousand to someone who has none and is hungry or thirsty.
An open mind and heart can be like the key to a prison door to someone filled with self loathing and hatred.
A listening ear can remove the burden of a heavy heart or a mind which is overwhelmed.
- We all have the power to make a difference. Every day.
- All 7 billion of us.
How will you choose to make a difference today?
Will you help fill the gap left by Nelson Mandela, one choice at a time?
Will you take up one of the 7 billion batons Nelson Mandela has left and make your life a glorious race? or will you allow yourself to believe that you are too insignificant to make a difference and remain a passive spectator?
If you want to make a difference, you have all you need to do it. You just have to want to.
Please share this blog post and let's start a ripple. Let's join forces and change our world one little act at a time.
This is my baton, will you pass it on?
Namaste, Amanda x