2 thoughts on “Nelson Mandela 1918 – 2013

  1. In the past couple of days I have watched quite a few videos of Mandela and have been struck by how low-key and modest he seemed, how gentle. Perhaps he was once a fiery young man (I saw a photo of him from about 1962 and he looked more like Cuba Gooding than Morgan Freeman) but those videos from the golden twilight of his life showed someone who was at peace with himself. As well he should have been, having accomplished what he set out to do and not only changed his country, but changed the world.

    Then I read comments considerably less pleasant, by people who claimed that he had ‘the blood of millions on his hands’ because he had not spoken out sooner on the AIDS epidemic. However, even his detractors say that he could not have stopped the epidemic, only ‘blunted’ it (maybe) and noted that when he did do something, it was ‘magnificent’. I have given a lot of thought to this in the past day and why people, some of them quite young (but maybe that’s the problem) felt the need to exagerrate the negative to the point of creating new myth. I have no answers.

    But I did realize after googling to make sure they weren’t correct, that sometimes it doesn’t matter as much what you did or didn’t do at any particular point in time, as what you did in the end and that if you did anything wrong or omitted to do the right thing, you tried to redress the balance.

  2. In the end, what is important is you leave the world a better place than it was when you came into it, no matter in how small a way.

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