05 December, 2013

Farewell Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela

Who has not heard of this stately, noble and humble man? Any one, wherever he/she may be, who reads news or listens to the news or watches news - would undoubtedly have heard of Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela. For present day Middle East leaders, in particular, our leaders can learn much from this Great man. Here was a man who was imprisoned by his enemies for 27 years simply because he dared and had the courage to speak out against injustice and oppression; 18 years of this imprisonment was on an island where he was kept in a tiny cell and had to do back-breaking work in a lime quarry during the day. That incarceration did not make him bitter or vengeful or broken; instead, Mandela became much more strong, more forgiving and much wiser.

Any of today's Arab leaders reflecting on that? Though he was not a Muslim, he behaved very much like what a Muslim leader should be like: Mandela was so full of humility whether with his family, his freedom fighter colleagues, his friends, his opponents, his foes, with children, with the poor; and with the weak and strong, he always would remain stately, noble and yet so full of humility that it astounds. At the same time, Mandela was very restrained, wholly committed to justice no matter what and never, ever showed any signs of greed for wealth or power; that's why he, against many people's appeals - ruled South Africa for only 4 years. Can today's Arab leaders learn form this Great man and realize that with the Arab world's, present, volatile and explosive situation - much can be achieved by using Madiba's style of reconciliation, magnanimity, generosity, humility, simplicity; not being greedy or divisive or vengeful or arrogant? As for Israel - for how long can they continue oppressing Palestinians and denying them justice? They should learn from Mandela and South Africa.

Honesty, sincerity, simplicity, humility, pure generosity, absence of vanity, readiness to serve others – qualities which are within easy reach of every soul – are the foundation of one’s spiritual life,” Mandela not only stated; but also practiced this. Mandela's wisdom and humility made him so strong and powerful that he would always stand out wherever he was and whoever he was with. We don't have to be leaders to use Madiba's wisdom and humility and stand up for justice. We can use it every day, wherever we are; for whatever responsibility we have. May God rest Madiba's soul in peace.

+ Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela
+ Long Walk to Freedom with Mandela
+ The Man