I share with South Africa and the world the intense grief and loss resulting from the passing away of the champion of human rights and justice. Multitudes mourn and bid adieu to Nelson Mandela.
He was the man who spent 27 years in prison to dismantle the apartheid regime and bring justice, equality and liberty to South Africa.
Mandela had an indefatigable spirit that could not be broken easily. That was clearly visible in his political path from prison to Parliament. His true beauty as a human being shone brightly during his presidency.
In May 1994 I had an opportunity to attend the presidential inauguration ceremony in Pretoria. In the presence of large foreign dignitaries, Dr. Mandela addressed the nation and said it was time to heal.
What a beautiful message he conveyed to his people to forget the past and focus on the future to build a prosperous country without bearing any vengeful nature.
His scrupulous devotion to truth and impeccable devotion to the ethic of justice was faultless.
His contribution to the cause of freedom, justice and integrity will remain etched in everyone’s memories. He will be remembered as a great hero of the 21st century.
His humanity, humbleness, compassion and lucidity of vision deserve to be part of our living heritage and remain a historical tower of inspiration and hope.
The passing away of the great son of the soil will definitely leave a vacuum in the hearts of all those who admired him.
Hanif A. Patel, Surrey
Education combats racism
Racial tolerance and forgiveness are perhaps the most profound messages that a deceased person can leave behind as a legacy, and Nelson Mandela left just that.
Over the years, I’ve observed that regardless of nationality or ethnicity, a person’s level of formal education tends to proportionally reflect his/her capacity for racial harmony and the resultant peace with oneself.
Unfortunately a person’s past rearing environment –involving a racist parent or guardian filling the child’s mind with bigotry – can act as a formidable hindrance to such racial harmony.
However, education can, over time, plant a seed of tolerance that can reason one’s twisted thinking away from childhood-ingrained racist sentiment.
Furthermore, not only does such education fill the mind with knowledge, it also contributes to the development of the brain’s “hard wiring,” thus enabling greater cerebral function potential.
To advance Mandela’s legacy – humanity’s evolution into a world free of racism – I’m convinced that first and foremost there needs to be universal access to education, ideally on a global scale.
All of humankind’s minds need to and should be filled with significant knowledge before they’re filled and thus corrupted with racially disharmonious poison.
Frank G. Sterle, Jr., White Rock