Archive | December, 2013

Nelson Mandela

9 Dec

nelson-mandela-statue-sizedI have loved you.

I have loved you with all my heart.

I have given my life so that you may live.

I have done all I can to loose you from the bonds of injustice.

And I have played my part in leading a great nation to the foothills of the mountain.

I have brought you all here;

To gather all your strength and courage together,

To melt your hearts in a cauldron of passion and determination.

And  to fuse the ideals of respect, compassion and integrity into a unified, powerful whole.

I have not gathered you thus to ask  you to lay down your own individuality and uniqueness for a dull, one-faceted commonality.

Diversity has always been our greatest strength.

As the diamond sparkles because of its many facets,

So our nation flashes its brilliance because of its many colors and contours.

So you, my people,

From the eldest of the elders to the newest of the newborns,

Give our land its mighty wealth.

In your hands lie the keys to the vast storehouses  of Mother Earth’s treasures.

It is for you to govern the distribution of these assets

In a manner befitting of the gift itself.

Do not disappoint me.

Greed and corruption only lead to destruction and disease.

You are wise, my people.

In you lies the knowledge born of pain  and hardship,

Born of necessity and want,

Born of imagination and dreams.

Entrepreneurship seethes in your blood

And the energy of endless toil holds no fear for you.

Therefore, I call on you now,

To stand as one in your differences.

Climb this mountain before you now,

With the thrill of endeavor within your hearts.

It is not for me to reach its peak, my time has passed.

But this is the legacy I leave for you.

I have brought  you to the foothills.

Now take this land and its inhabitants to the very extremity of its potential.

Use hearts and hands and minds to uplift the darknesses  that surround us.

Let each one shine the beauty of his own heart into the heart of this magnificent country.

And thus, with acceptance and grace,

All can climb to the very peak of the challenges that confront you now,

And conquer the ills that stand in the way of accessing

The very humanity of our being.

I am proud of you, my people.

In the face of hatred and oppression, anger and intolerance,

You all have stood tall and true.

I ask you now, to remain upright and authentic.

And to remember that love and humility are the only real power in this world.

I leave you now, and my heart aches with the pain of separation.

But I have done my best and now it is time for the sun to set

On my beloved country for me for one last time,

For its bounteous rays to bathe the natural beauty of its regions

In that golden African light.

I stand here aghast at the miracle of all the creatures,

All the plants, the deserts, the mountains,

The coastline, the seas.

How I shall miss it all.

But most of all, how I shall miss you all, people of my rainbow nation.

For you have made me what I am.

You have forged my character  in the furnaces

Of your fiery temperaments.

You have astounded me with your astuteness and incisive thinking.

And you have made me laugh with the sheer audacity of your humor.

But now I cry.

For a great leader can only be given the opportunity to be great

By the people he leads.

And I must leave those that gave me this mantle of greatness.

I salute you all,

And there are no words to express the extent of the gratitude I feel towards you all,

For being with me on this,

My own very singular,

Journey of Life.

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