Be Like Mandela

Julie, here…

Today is Mandela Day (see website here for more on this), commemorating 100 years since the birth of Nelson Mandela, the great South African leader for social justice.

Mandela was a voice for much-needed change in South Africa, a torn country that had suffered many years under apartheid. Apartheid, the segregation and discrimination based on race, had divided that nation, separated families, and impoverished countless persons.

“The amazing story of this principled man willing to suffer so much in the name of humanity, not only changed his homeland, but touched the entire world.” This quote comes from an excellent little video. This website has a brief educational treatment of the issue of apartheid. I’d highly recommend a quick tour of it to refresh your memory.

Mandela looked around him and saw  deep injustices, the suffering of many, and sought to effect change. From him we learn about making our world a better place.  While you may not be pursuing your passions and convictions on such a far-reaching, global level, you still can put them to work right in your corner of the world, impacting those you encounter daily.

Ask yourself: How can I make life better for myself, my family, friends, neighbors, town, countryman, humanity?

If we listen but a moment, the answers will come. Your purpose may be to bring beauty to the world in the form of art or music. Or you may speak or write of things that educate others. Maybe you’ll employ your muscles and sweat to serve by building needed structures. Could be your exploring in the world will inspire others to push beyond their own limits and boundaries. Can you take a meal to a shut-in? spend time with the elderly? work on a project to make your community a better place to live? Perhaps you have a listening ear to connect with the lonely and help bear burdens. Are you an encourager? Your words are needed. Maybe you can organize your fellow man to stand up for a cause, like Nelson Mandela did.

The possibilities are endless. The only limit is our imagination.

But it takes courage to act. Take some time today to reflect where your passions and convictions lie. What can you do to make the world a better place? And then start small. Gain momentum in little things. Grow your courage. Do it.

This is Upward Motion.This is living an elevated life.

“There is no passion to be found playing small – in settling for a life that is less than the one you are capable of living.” 

~ Nelson Mandela