Monday, December 23, 2013

Michael S. Wright: 'Nelson Mandela was the person I most admired, period! I was more saddened by his passing than I ever expected.'

Nelson R. Mandela (1918-2013)
(1999 Photo by Mike Hutchings, Reuters)

Michael S. Wright writes:

Thanks Bill for posting this and other tributes.
Nelson Mandela was the person I most admired, period! I was more saddened by his passing than I ever expected. I would not be at all surprised if Mandela had the world’s greatest number of admirers. However, admiration is one thing and action is another matter.To my mind, his passing has left a serious question mark over future world peace initiatives. I was moved by President Barack Obama who delivered a fine tribute to Mandela and hope that it was understood by all political sectors. However, that hope is unlikely as it is far too optimistic even regarding those politicians in UK and America. It does seem strange to me that it was as little as 5 years ago that America got round to finally removing his name and the ANC from the National terror watch list. I have some rather qualified admiration for Jesse Jackson although he has some certain seriously flawed views which I could never accept. However his recent public comments is an example that underlines the fact that there is a huge amount of further progress that urgently needs to be made. Such progress is of course not confined to America!

I believe that Nelson Mandela’s approach was so aptly summed up soon after he became President of South Africa  “As I have said, the first thing is to be honest with yourself. You can never have an impact on society if you have not changed yourself... Great peacemakers are all people of integrity, of honesty, but humility.” His legacy is enormous and it will be many years before it is fully realised. We are now in a period of reflection and the world is looking for someone who just might be of the calibre to continue in Mandela’s footsteps. As I see the passing of 2013, the world does yet seem to possess a suitable candidate. Here comes the warning -  I really, really hope for the future of the world that politicians do not simply linger on memories whilst the big corporate sectors of the world try to turn the passing of Mandela into profit making.

Best wishes for peace in 2014


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