Monday, July 18, 2011

A Belated Happy Birthday

Madame L apologizes for being so late to write this:

Happy 93rd Birthday, President Nelson Mandela!

Thank you for your life, the suffering that strengthened you and thousands of others.

1993 Nobel Peace Prize Winner Nelson Mandela
From his Nobel Peace Prize biography:

"Mandela was arrested in 1962 and sentenced to five years' imprisonment with hard labour. In 1963, when many fellow leaders of the ANC and the Umkhonto we Sizwe were arrested, Mandela was brought to stand trial with them for plotting to overthrow the government by violence. His statement from the dock received considerable international publicity. On June 12, 1964, eight of the accused, including Mandela, were sentenced to life imprisonment. From 1964 to 1982, he was incarcerated at Robben Island Prison, off Cape Town; thereafter, he was at Pollsmoor Prison, nearby on the mainland.

"During his years in prison, Nelson Mandela's reputation grew steadily. He was widely accepted as the most significant black leader in South Africa and became a potent symbol of resistance as the anti-apartheid movement gathered strength. He consistently refused to compromise his political position to obtain his freedom.

"Nelson Mandela was released on February 11, 1990. After his release, he plunged himself wholeheartedly into his life's work, striving to attain the goals he and others had set out almost four decades earlier. In 1991, at the first national conference of the ANC held inside South Africa after the organization had been banned in 1960, Mandela was elected President of the ANC while his lifelong friend and colleague, Oliver Tambo, became the organisation's National Chairperson."

Here's one of Madame L's favorite quotes from Nelson Mandela:
"If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head. If you talk to him in his language, that goes to his heart."

And here's another:

"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."

You may have heard, as Madame L has, that Nelson Mandela is the author of that great quote about our deepest fears. He isn't. Marianne Williamson is. Here's the quote, because it's good, whoever wrote it:
 
Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.

1 comment:

Jeff said...

I have a number of personal heroes, but this is the only one living. What a great man - we say this because he placed others' welfare always before his own.

Like my sweet wife.

~~~~~