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Nelson Mandela: Thank you for your many gifts
Driving home yesterday to some of my favorite Christmas jams, I heard the announcement that Nelson Mandela passed away at the age of 95. Not surprised or sad, I thought that if anyone deserves a rest it’s probably him. Truly, his work and commitment to ending racial oppression in South Africa seems like a beacon of hope for how broken societies can heal.
In our movement, I find that we have a sincere appreciation for the gift of healing. In what I have learned of Mandela’s life and legacy, he had this gift. He had a remarkable capacity to forgive, which he described upon his release from 27 years in prison.
“As I walked out the door toward the gate that would lead to my freedom, I knew if I didn't leave my bitterness and hatred behind, I'd still be in prison.” ~Nelson Mandela
Through forgiveness, Mandela found the gift of personal healing. He also shared his gift for healing with others. He worked tirelessly to promote healing among a people who were torn apart by years of apartheid.
“For to be free is not merely to cast off one’s chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others.” ~Nelson Mandela
Finally, Mandela shared his gift for healing by inspiring the world. He challenged us all to vision a better future. We can live our lives in a way that denies oppression and affirms equality for all. We can heal a broken rape culture. We can heal our world.
“It always seems impossible until it’s done.” ~Nelson Mandela