The Legacy of Nelson Mandela

I wrote a small piece about Nelson Mandela. It's short and sweet, but it's all I could do right now

An incredible man has passed away today. While it’s easy to post a picture, or write a status, let’s look a little deeper into Mandela’s legacy.

Mandela’s name is synonymous with freedom around the world. His sacrifices to stop apartheid in South Africa could fill thousands of pages in the books of history. He spent more than 20 years in jail in protest of the segregation that was going on in South Africa. When the world was sure there was a difference between white and black, Nelson Mandela was willing to show the world that there wasn’t.

Personally his passing is an incredible loss. When I think of Nelson Mandela, I think of a man that was willing to sacrifice more that I have ever had to stop injustice. He spent more time in jail than I have been alive. The thought that there was a man willing to spend every waking moment of my life in jail has always been… astonishing and moving. It was always a good feeling to know that a man that walked the same path of Dr. King, and Gandhi was alive and active in my lifetime. With him gone, it makes my world feel a little emptier… But I feel that great things can come from this emptiness.

Mandela wasn’t just a man that was willing to sacrifice, he was a man who was a positive force in our world. Just think about all the pictures you’ve seen of Nelson Mandela. He’s smiling in most of them, isn’t he? I think that says so much about his character. It would be so easy to feel negativity and hatred for a world that basically discarded him and his ideals for more than 2 decades. Yet, instead of doing that, he found a way to be positive. He used his experiences as catalysts to change the world for the better.

Many of us will see the world as being dimmer without Mandela, but think of it like this. His positivity exists in all of us. His light made all of our lives brighter, let’s take the time to use that light to improve the lives of others. Let’s use the light that Mandela has blessed us with to teach our children about his sacrifice. Let’s teach the next generation that we can be just as strong as he was. Let’s teach our communities that positivity can be force great enough to change anything. Let’s teach the world that peace is the greatest force on this plane. If we can spread the light of one great man, we fill the void left by one man by creating many great people.

If there is one thing I know, it’s that we need more people like Nelson Mandela.

To his family, to his county, to the people he has touched, I send my condolences and my best wishes.

Rest in Peace to an incredible man,

Nelson Mandela

July 18, 1918 to December 5, 2013