© 2013 Kebba Buckley Button, MS, OM. World Rights Reserved.
On December 5th, the President of South Africa, Jacob Zuma, announced that “we have lost our greatest son”. Nelson Mandela, the Nobel Prize-winning transformative peacemaker, had died in peace and grace, as he had sought to live for decades. Mandela fought apartheid and won. He fought poverty and made progress. He fought hatred with forgiveness and changed the world.
Born in 1918 in a tiny, roadless village, Mandela rose to become an urban attorney who worked for social justice. With South Africa ruled by a White minority that denied rights to Blacks, Mandela became active in the African National Congress (ANC) in 1943. The ANC developed a military wing that utilized bombing to draw attention to their cause, and by 1961, Mandela was its leader. In 1964, he went to prison under a life sentence, his public status “terrorist” for the acts of government sabotage.
In prison, he was inspired by the philosophy of Mahatma Ghandi, and he leveraged his imprisonment to get demonstrable anti-apartheid support from groups worldwide. Unrest continued, until, in 1990, South African President F.W. De Klerk returned legitimacy to the ANC and freed Mandela. Mandela became President of South Africa in 1994. De Klerk and Mandela were jointly awarded the Nobel Prize, for their successful partnering to bring about a massive sociopolitical transition, through great political courage and integrity.
Mandela has written that when he left prison, he knew he would not be truly free, if he did not leave his anger behind. He said, “I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it.” At his inauguration, in a demonstration of radical forgivenenss, a group of his jailers were seated in the front row.
Nelson Mandela gave the world many gifts. Each quote, each principle he put forth, could become a book. His own life demonstrated the experiment of violent and nonviolent methods for bringing about change, and a final shift into partnering with the former enemy to nonviolently bring about the greatest change. Late in life, Mandela said, “[W]hen a man has done what he considers to be his duty to God and his country, he can rest in peace.”
May this great peacemaker himself rest in deepest peace.
● Kebba Buckley Button is a Master’s Degree scientist, a minister, and the award-winning author of the 2012 book, Peace Within: Your Peaceful Inner Core (http://tinyurl.com/abd47jr), and Discover The Secret Energized You (http://tinyurl.com/b44v3br). She is a celebrated public speaker and corporate stress management trainer. She also has a natural healing and stress management practice.
● This blog, Peaceful People, is the new home for Rev. Kebba’s articles and movie reviews about the SNV, nonviolence, peace within, and cultivating peace. Until 2/19/13, her SNV posts and peace movie reviews were at http://kebbabutton.wordpress.com, under the banner of UpBeat Living. Please enjoy and consider those as time allows.
● Your comments are welcome!
● Reach the writer at firstname.lastname@example.org .