Celebrating the life and gift of a Hero.

In 2002 I was "optimized" (laid off) from a Telecom company. Jan 2003, thanks to extended benefits for Trade Affected workers and John Edwards' senate office, I finally went back to finish school at Carolina. One course I took in the next two years was to fulfill a requirement (non-western history post 1850 or something like that). It consisted of no class time, which is, frankly, why I chose it. The only assignment in this 3 hour course was to read Nelson Mandela's book, Long Walk to Freedom and write a 15 page paper that demonstrated detailed understanding of issues and lessons raised and learned.

Oh, yeah, I thought. Gimme that class!! :)

Little did I know ...

That singular book changed my entire outlook on the life and purpose of a citizen. It changed my entire sense of how we each fit into our local histories. It proved that one had the power in one's own hands to make a conscious decision to get up, go out, talk, listen, discuss, argue, learn, accept, fight, work, teach, write, sing -- whatever!! -- and organize to fix ANYTHING that is wrong. Neither divinity nor divine calling was required. I once heard Larry Kissell talk similarly about this book when explaining why he was running for Congress. :) Thank God he read it.

So, here's to one of our generation's greatest, yet most humble, shining lights.
Mandela, President and Statesman

Here in the flesh is the Ideal of what a true leader can be ... and should be.

Mandela, Freedom

If ever there were an example of what can be accomplished when clear eyed, disciplined, realistic, honest, hopeful, intelligent, selfless, steady leaders decide deep and lasting CHANGE must come if ever a nation is to be put right, the story of South Africa's move from Apartheid to democracy is one.

Mandela, Lawyer

What you won't know until you read Long Walk to Freedom is how completely dependent the success of South Africa's transition was on rejection of revenge and promotion of a few basic moral guiding principles of fairness, even after all the hate, violence and bloodshed: that all sides be heard, that all sides be respected, that all sides be dealt merciful but honest justice and that all sides come to the table with one agenda -- "for the good of ALL."

Nothing was forced. Everyone was heard. Everything was agreed upon.

It's a big book, but as God is my witness I swear to you, it will be worth your time.

Happy Birthday, Nelson Mandela!!!

Comments

I'm being dead serious when I say

this book changed my life. Just after reading it I wrote my first LTE to the local paper, I put my first ever political bumper sticker on my car and I went to my first ever political meeting. Nothing has been the same (especially ;) for my kids, poor wonderful Dears) ever since.

I am so much better off for having learned about this man's life. It made me understand clearly the meaning of the Greek proverb,

"Civilizations flourish where men plant trees under who's shade they will never sit."

"It is amazing what you can accomplish if you do not care who gets the credit." - Harry Truman

"They took all the trees and put them in a tree museum Then they charged the people a dollar 'n a half just to see 'em. Don't it always seem to go that you don't know what you've got till it's gone? They paved paradise and put up a parking lot."

Thanks, Leslie!

I'm actually going to the library today to pick up some books on hold for Emily. I'll see if they have it available. I'm sure they have it.

Robin Hayes lied. Nobody died, but thousands of folks lost their jobs.



***************************
Vote Democratic! The ass you save may be your own.

You'll love it.

Hope they have it for you!!

"It is amazing what you can accomplish if you do not care who gets the credit." - Harry Truman

"They took all the trees and put them in a tree museum Then they charged the people a dollar 'n a half just to see 'em. Don't it always seem to go that you don't know what you've got till it's gone? They paved paradise and put up a parking lot."

Very nice. 100% rec.

My definition of 'excellence' is - that which inspires. Mandela fits that definition rather well.

Person County Democrats

I actively oppose gerrymandering. Do you?

Indeed he does.

An amazing mind, an incredible spirit, a shining soul.

"It is amazing what you can accomplish if you do not care who gets the credit." - Harry Truman

"They took all the trees and put them in a tree museum Then they charged the people a dollar 'n a half just to see 'em. Don't it always seem to go that you don't know what you've got till it's gone? They paved paradise and put up a parking lot."

Thanks, y'all.

For the recs, I mean.

"It is amazing what you can accomplish if you do not care who gets the credit." - Harry Truman

"They took all the trees and put them in a tree museum Then they charged the people a dollar 'n a half just to see 'em. Don't it always seem to go that you don't know what you've got till it's gone? They paved paradise and put up a parking lot."

One of my favorite Mandela quotes...

"If our expectations, if our fondest dreams and prayers are not realized, then we should all bear in mind that the greatest glory of living lies not in never failing but in rising each time you fall." 9/1998

Stan Bozarth