As you all know, Nelson Mandela passed away this week. It was and still is, one of the most eye opening events to occur since he delivered that vital speech in June, 1964.
A speech so powerful that it made the whole world stop and think for a moment; Nelson Mandela was prepared to die, why? Why at that moment was he happy to die? It wasn’t through depression, he was happy – He had made such a significant change in human history that if he were to take a lightning bolt to the chest right there, he wouldn’t fight death.
Five Things Nelson Mandela Has Taught Us
- Stand up for your beliefs. It sounds simple, but whilst we all delude ourselves and tell each other that we’d do anything to protect our common interests, not many of us actually do it. We make compromises that eventually dilute our true mission in life in order to accompany the goals of others. We subconsciously place them above us in our order of importance. Nelson Mandela has taught us that even though he had everything to live for, he faced prison for 27 consecutive years and still emerged with all of his beliefs intact.
- Don’t be afraid to lose everything. Again, it sounds simple, right? But how many people reading this would give up that laptop, or that games console, or even your friends in order to preserve an idea you believe in? Nelson Mandela gave up 27 years of his life and in doing so he influenced a world-wide array of people. People from all over realised that losing everything isn’t the end, it’s in fact the best possible outcome you could have in order to preserve your idea.
- Show some compassion. The human race is lacking compassion. We don’t care for our fellow man enough. We see a homeless man and our knee jerk reaction is give him a bit of change, maybe give him that Coke you were drinking. There’s no compassion, we feel like we have to do it, not that we want to.
- Have some commitment. At the time of writing this, I can guarantee that I’ve had ideas that I haven’t been committed to. As i’m sure you have. Yet, one thing Madiba managed to preserve and maintain was his ideology, his beliefs and his methods towards enacting those ideas. He remained committed. Scroll back to rule one. This links in well; If you can stand up for your ideas, you can remain committed through the motivation you achieve by others trying to stop you. Sounds crazy but if we travel back to the 80’s, David Cameron and his group of Conservative-Party students actively campaigned against Mandela; but they never stopped him. And now, stood defeated, they express gratitude for the changes he’s made in the world.
- Perseverance. We give up on ideas that don’t take off after a little bit of time, weight loss being the first thing to spring to my mind, but Nelson Mandela has inspired generations upon generations to follow their dreams, persevere through the initial storm that follows a brilliant idea. For most of us, it’s the disregard towards our new idea from our peers, the general loss of sleep for fear or worry and a loss of a huge percentage of our social lives. Now compare that to 27 years in prison; doesn’t seem so bad now, right?
I’d like to personally offer my condolences towards the Mandela family. As a half South African, my family was shaped by the direct actions and repercussions of Nelson Mandela’s actions, for which we are all truly grateful. I’m going to leave you with some of his most powerful quotes that relate quite well to this list.
“I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.”
“It always seems impossible until its done.”
“If you want to make peace with your enemy, you have to work with your enemy. Then he becomes your partner.”
Rest In Peace Nelson Mandela.
July 18 1916 – December 5 2013.