In this day and age, it has never been more important for us, as a culture, to seek out true heroes, men and women of honor, integrity and depth. Around the world, pop culture media asks us to think more about what our celebrity role models are wearing and who they are dating than who they are at heart. News about politicians is often about corruption, self-serving agendas and hate speech. That’s why it is so important that we honor the lives and legacies of people like world hero, Nelson Mandela. With Mandela’s passing on December 6, now is the perfect time to ask our leaders and one another to honor his legacy by emulating his example.
Nelson Mandela’s Legacy
Mandela inspires so many of us because he sacrificed so much in the pursuit of social justice. He fought for the rights of the oppressed, which cost him thirty years in jail. He spoke out against apartheid, the South African policy of separation of the races and discrimination based on race. Eventually, he became President of South Africa and was able to officially end apartheid.
What’s remarkable about his character, though, is he achieved all that he did as a peaceful warrior. With his approach, Mandela was able to prevent a racial/class/social/economic war between the whites and the blacks. He made drastic changes in his country, but he did it with a love that allowed for his nation to be unified instead of ripped apart. Mandela led South Africa to reconciliation.
When we talk about immigration reform as leaders and residents who want change, let us remember the spirit of Nelson Mandela. May our leaders learn to abandon speech that divides us, speaking instead with Mandela’s tongue. May we become peaceful warriors who fight for justice on behalf of immigrants and citizens, alike. May we stand up for what is right even when it requires sacrifice.
If Mandela was the leader of this nation, would he allow a system that deports and divides families who have been here for decades? Would he allow us to deny rights, privileges or a home to anyone, based on their birthplace? No, he would not. He would demand immigration reform today.
Thank you, Nelson Mandela, for your service and example. Thank you to all who are inspired by his leadership. Thank you to everyone who is working for positive change, social justice and unification.
How has Mandela inspired you? Please share your thoughts in the comments section below.