6th December, 2013
A TRIBUTE TO NELSON MANDELA
It was with a heavy heart, Kari, that I awoke this morning to the news that Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela — Tata — had passed away...
As a white South African, I remember (on the 2nd February 1990, when Nelson Mandela was unconditionally released) thinking, who is this man? Yes, I knew he had spent 27 years as a political prisoner, yet I had no concept of the influence he wielded. One man, isolated from the world for so long... What could he do?
Well, over the 23 subsequent years, I learnt the true power manifested from within this great man! I also learnt how a single human being — blessed with authenticity, abundance and love — could orchestrate sustainable change in this confused, angry world we live in.
He brought our wonderful South African nation together and, although there are still many burning political issues in the country, there has been a general sense of togetherness and optimism since his inauguration on the 10th May 1994.
Born in 1967, I was a child of Apartheid, 'sheltered' from the black populous by government policy, the 'dompas' pass laws, R1 automatic rifles and 'sjamboks' — blissfully unaware of what incredible potential was being withheld from us all...
I can honestly say that it was only after 1994 that I truly 'lived' in South Africa — not as one of an elite minority, but at one with a beautiful, diverse, passionate and multi-cultural people. And I have Mr Nelson Mandela to thank for that!
During my journey into the world of Ontology and Transformational Coaching, I began to gain a deeper understanding of what he represented to mankind, and the sheer magnitude of his influence, not just in South Africa, but throughout the world. Indicatively, I sit here writing, filled with emotion and love, for a man I've never met, yet who definitively touched my soul nevertheless.
So, with a tear in my eye and gratitude in my heart, I bid my significantly insignificant farewell to our Madiba. You will live on for generations in our memories and stories; your influence eternal...
Hamba kahle, Tata... Amandla!
Yes, Guy, it was both sad and good to hear the news of his passing.
A beautiful soul, teaching the world of love and forgiveness. A man with an energy so strong that even here, in Norway, we felt his spirit. From the moment he stepped out of prison he taught African people to believe in themselves, to stay together, to forgive and to love. To be proud of themselves, how beautiful and amazing each and every one is and how foregivness creates peace.
Here in Norway, like in the rest of the world, we where amazed over this man, talking about forgiveness after all this years in prison. Who was this man? How could he be so generous after what “they” did to him?
Here we had a cold war, we had enemies, and we were looking for ways to scare our enemies to the extent that we were safe and peace could retain. I come from this country a bit outside of the rest of the world, where we didn't actually have problems, so we created them. It was a “what if” situation. What if we're attacked? Who can we join in order to be safe and protected? Underneith that was our insecurity, where are our enemies? We're so small, who can protect us…
I remember I was scared for how I could protect my children, if this “what if” should happen. Then, one day, on the news, we was reminded of Nelson Mandela. He had been moved from Robben Island, where the conditions were so tough, to the main land. Eight years later, after 27 years in prison, he was free.
I first heard about him at school when we learned about arpartheid politics, which was completely impossible for me to understand. Later, when I was a bit older, I danced to music singing “Freeeee Nelson Mandela!..." at a discoteque and the song was humming in my mind for years, actally still does whenever problems show up.
We sat by our TV to listen to what he had to say. We anticipated he would be full of rage! Bitterness! Hate! He talked about forgiveness! He talked about how inportant each and every one of us are. And I cried… He gave me hope. He gave me faith. If a person can go trough what he did and still see the world with the eyes of love and comapssion, then it showed what humans are capable of. I wasn't afraid anymore…. For me, Nelson Mandela was an angel on Earth!
He did so much for his people, for his land, for the world. He came to Norway to receive the Nobel Peace Price, together with de Klerk, the man that set him free. We saw a humble man, a beautiful man. A man that gave us hope that peace on Earth is possible. A man that taught us that there is man-made truth and there is a real truth. There are illusions about human worth and there is a truth that tells us about the uniqeness in all.
I am so deeply grateful for this man! He was known to see those unseen. Long after he went back to South Africa, we heard stories about how he gave attention to workers at the hotel, waiters, drivers, receptionists. They were interviewed and talked about this calm energy. They felt important. He made them feel important.
He has done his work for this time. His journey home is well deserved, I can almost hear the jubilant angel choir welcoming him back. Let us all continue his work of foregivness and peace.
In deep love and gratitude.