Farewell, Nelson Mandela

By From page A10 | December 13, 2013

I’ve been thinking a lot about Nelson Mandela since I heard the news of his transition last week. I cannot think of any other person from my lifetime who left his world so much better than when he entered it.

It makes me wonder how much more other great humans (think Gandhi, Martin Luther King Jr.) could have accomplished had they not been assassinated before their work was finished.

The universe gave us Mandela for 95 years, and he made good use of every one of those years. Of the 7 billion or so humans on the Earth, I hope and pray that at least a few leaders emerge who emulate his fierce drive for justice and human dignity, the courage to persevere through the worst oppression, the political genius to get important work done, the heart big enough to forgive his oppressors, and the wisdom to know when to step down.

Rest in peace, Mr. Mandela. And thank you.

Jane Schafer-Kramer

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