Nelson Mandela passed away on December 5th, 2013
He was imprisoned for 27 years by the South African apartheid government. His crime? Standing up against a government that was committing heinous human rights abuses against black South Africans.
He was released from prison in 1990 and went on to lead the way for the abolition of apartheid in 1994. He was elected as South Africa’s first black president that same year. After suffering years of abuse, Nelson Mandela’s most astounding accomplishment was to create the Truth and Reconciliation Commission which focused on healing the country’s wounds from human rights abuses using truth-telling and forgiveness.
I was moved, watching tv last night to see the members of the UN Security Council, standing in silence to honour Nelson Mandela, in recognition of the fact that he truly was a peacemaker.
‘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 fear.’
‘No one is born hating another person because of the color of his skin, or his background, or his religion. People must learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love, for love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite.’
Nelson Mandela – Long Walk to Freedom