Madiba Goes to Rest

12/15/2013 01:34:00 AM sendtheroths 0 Comments

Today, Madiba will be laid to rest. I honor him, because I see that his country loved him. I've walked the streets of South Africa this week and have heard from Whites, Blacks, Afrikaans, Indians and the English about their honor for him. Is not getting a country, once so divided (and still even) to love you not a major feat on its own?

I've seen a number of FB posts suggesting that this man was a terrorist and that allude to his controversial wife, Winnie and her stance on necklacing. I shake my head to see how determined people are to put their fellow man into a box labeled 'villain' or 'hero', 'saint' or 'satan'.

I've come to learn that people who make boxes for other people are people who live in boxes themselves. 

You either die a hero or you live long enough to become a tyrant. 

I respect Nelson Mendela because he sacrificially served his nation and though he lived a long life, he never became a tyrant to his people. He was totally opposed to American-style capitalism. Go him! 

He lead during a violent time in his country's existence. Yeah, necklacing happened. He grew up in that world. And if you understand anything about riot mentality or mob psychology, you would know that what happens on the streets is so far removed from what goes on in parliament and remains that way for often decades at a time. That's the reality for any nation.

I respect Mendela because he remained a person without a box. He fought against white domination and he fought against black domination. He wasn't a western puppet president and he understood some foundational principles of reconciliation. He was a man. But most importantly, he was a man acquainted with failure and fear, yet he reconciled with these realities and just like anyone else who does the same, he made history.

“After climbing a great hill, one only finds that there are many more hills to climb.” -Madiba
Saints and sinners, brothers and sisters, heroes and tyrants... Let us climb on!