Nelson Mandela was one of the greats of my life time. Like Mahatma Gandhi he stood for non-violent opposition, Love and dignity. As I listen to the news and read the news about Mandela his life touches me deeply. I would like to reflect on how Nelson Mandela touches my life right here today.
After getting out of prison Mandela was able, not only to forgive, but to sit down at a table and break bread with those who abused him. The symbol and the beauty of that simple act is astonishing. How often have anger gotten me to my knees, and for much less reason than Mandela had, and how often have I managed to turn around and see the inherent goodness and humanity in those I was angry at. The simple humanity of such an act leaves me breathless with admiration and inspiration.
Mandela was able to see humanity in everyone and while he respected everyone he still stood up for what was right and against abuses. How did he manage this amazing feat at one and the same time. Like Gandhi stood, without weapons and fought for non-violence even when people around him dropped dead. Mandela was also able to hold on to the inherent, basic humanity of his abusers while telling them what they did was wrong.
So, I am shown the beauty, courage, Love and divinity of non-violence, even in the face of horrific, unparalleled violence and horror.
As this percolates inside me, I realize I have not done enough the last few months. I have not done enough to talk about the discrimination against obese people. And I have not done enough to talk about the horrible abuses perpetrated by the psychiatric system in this country. So, that is my challenge now. I need to speak, not only about the journey but also about the things I am doing this for. Expect to see those posts in the future!