Paying homage to a lasting legacy of our times - Nelson Mandela at 90!
O what a long walk and what it has wrought! Lest you forget, know that the world's best-loved statesman has yet another day in the twilight of a glorious life.Few men in history have possessed the audacity to stand up for beliefs that wasn’t allowed to be compromised. To uphold truths that run deep and are unshakeable speak to a unique spirit that is absent from many of us…and I’m remiss that it at times is not always part of my makeup. Am I ashamed? Of course, and when thinking about one man that embodies all of the above, I readily look at Nelson Mandela and I shake my head with awe.
It’s awe-inspiring because the man this year has celebrated his 90th birthday and his legacy has not diminished his standing around the world! Who can forget that which he will always be remembered? Apartheid’s nemesis for slapping it in the face by defying tenets that decimated other men, Mr. Mandela opted for jail rather than be subjected to separating him from being an icon for the very people he led. The life of the man who led the drive to end apartheid in South Africa is one for the ages, and as I pour libation honoring all that he stands for I will be forever beholden to his lifelong quest. Pages of local newspapers the world over have been dedicated to stories about Mr. Mandela's life, highlighting a period of reconciliation and optimism that many now hanker for. Public radio has held near-constant tributes and readings from his autobiography, Long Walk to Freedom, which I’m proud to announce that occupies a shelf in my library. I’ve read it, describing his 27 years in captivity and long struggle against white minority rule.
CONGRATULATIONS and thank you, Nelson…your walk has covered a lot of ground, where others are destined to follow. Go your way and continue to toast the fools that took those years from you. Look at you! You have the last laugh with a feather in your cap that God inserted to herald a job well done! I celebrate your life and have long ago placed you among my heroes – a man for the ages!