“Do not judge me by my successes, judge me by
how many times I fell down and got back up again.”
I heard Nelson Mandela speak about a dozen years ago at a conference in South Africa. That moment has stayed with me all these years. It was singular event, an opportunity to be invigorated by his spirit and joy, and to be connected the larger community of people whose lives were changed by his sacrifice. He was, and will remain to be, hope incarnate for so many–proof that commitment to a just cause can result in sweeping change.
Tomorrow morning, I will tell my children that our world has lost an inspiring hero, and I will be sure to explain why he must be remembered.
“Let there be justice for all.
Let there be peace for all.
Let there be work, bread, water and salt for all.
Let each know that for each the body, the mind and the soul
have been freed to fulfill themselves.
Never, never and never again shall it be that this beautiful land
will again experience the oppression of one by another and suffer
the indignity of being the skunk of the world.
Let freedom reign.”
–Mandela’s Inaugural Address, 1994
Photo from lasanta.com.ec via Flickr under Creative Commons