18 July 2013 – Article Update on Nelson Mandela’s Birthday
Ever since writing this short article for Nelson Mandela’s 90th birthday, when 18 July comes around I’m inspired to come back to it and re-evaluate the impact this man has made. Not only is it his birthday, in recognition of this amazing man, it’s also International Mandela Day – a day where we’re all encouraged to commit 67 minutes to “take action and inspire change”. (http://www.mandeladay.com).
You might not call the article relevant to the subject of this site, but being a proud South African and privileged to have lived through the “Madiba*” days, I feel the urge to say a bit more than just ‘happy birthday Madiba’. The way in which this man managed to convert so many angry and/or afraid and/or skeptical hearts is not significant of his power, it’s significant of his character.
What Mandela has taught us can be applied to whatever industry we’re in – these are life lessons – they’re just as relevant in our work dealings and work relationships than any other aspect of our lives.
Nelson Mandela is a remarkable man – a true icon in our times.
Here is a man who was jailed as a political prisoner for 27 years. Being in the Apartheid Era, one cannot begin to imagine the treatment he must have endured during that time.
On examining the virtues of “Madiba”, here are a few pertinent points that have come to mind and can be taken as lessons for the rest of us.
A lesson in Patience and Perseverance
Would you have the patience to wait 27 years for the good that you believe in to come? How many of us would have given up in the first few weeks? Would you have the stamina to persevere, at whatever cost, until the good in which you so strongly believe, happens?
A lesson in Humility
Would you have the ability to swallow your pride for the sake of the greater good of all others? And then, having achieved your goal, would you be able to remain humble and unaffected?
A lesson in Staying Positive
Would you wallow in self-pity, or would you make use of your situation to develop and grow? (As Mandela did, continuing his studies whilst in jail.)
A lesson in Forgiveness
Having been tortured and abused, would you have it in your heart to forgive your ‘enemy’, using peaceful communication as the answer rather than using anger and revenge as your weapons?
For a man to firstly agree to negotiate peacefully during his prison time and then emerge victorious without the need for retaliation is truly remarkable!
This is Nelson Mandela’s Clan name and is used as a sign of respect, also implying “head of the family”. Mandela is regarded as the head of a nation and a leader of the world.
Madiba – an incredible role-model. The examples he has set are so relevant for us all.
Madiba – the Madiba of Madibas and co-recipient of The Nobel Peace Prize, 1993 – Happy Birthday!
(Nelson Mandela’s Nobel speech can be found here.)
(Images: http://www.wikipedia.org, http://www.flickr.com)
(Article: Colleen Wilkinson – d-ziner)