I stand before you filled with deep pride and joy. Pride in the ordinary, humble people of this country. You have shown such a calm, patient determination to reclaim this country as your own. And joy that we can loudly proclaim from the rooftops – free at last! Nelson Mandela
You would have thought that after so many years incarcerated that Nelson Mandela would have been ready to enjoy a peaceful and stress free old age, perhaps dabbling in politics as a ‘man with a voice’.
How wrong could that assumption have been. The tributes to this quite remarkable individual flow forth from every type of media you care to name and tell you that this man fought and thought all his life for the greater good of mankind.
I am not able to express how I feel about Nelson Mandela, no amount of trying to select the right words will ever complete my feelings, nor do I have any real idea how much he actually changed a country, only those directly influenced have the right to even think of claiming an understanding of his incredible impact.
What I can do is tell you how the news of his passing has given me hope. If this one person can change the fundamental beliefs of a whole nation and indeed probably the world because of his actions and strength of character then perhaps, if I stay focussed and strong, I can make a difference to my own life and try hard to improve the lives of others. Lets be honest here, I am no Mandela, and I know he would have too much humility to write about changing others lives, he would just get on and do it. His thought has spurred me on, even whilst writing this I know I will try harder and I wonder how many others will be having the same reaction? Influence? Oh yes he could influence, even in death. The world is a better place because of him and if enough ‘little bit extra’ are done by his inspiration then there is hope.
Right then lets get committed to the chosen cause. Here are my written down promises to my good self.
- Make the Long Straight Walk a resounding success,
- Do all I can to improve the skills and weaknesses I have in order to achieve the above.
- Turn my ideas into functioning reality.
- Raise funds, doubling my own internal target ( when the walk is completed I will share the sealed envelope with you).
- Stay close to my principles.
- Stay focussed on my family, (ie Put first things first!).
- Stay upbeat about all the good things in my life, especially the people I will meet and the opportunities presented because of my condition.
There, that just about covers it.
Please watch the film the Long Walk to Freedom and whist doing so spare a moments thought for the Long Straight Walk and in that minute please commit to sharing the walk with you friends and acquaintances. Together we can gather some momentum and change the world, even just a bit!
Thank you Nelson Mandela, inspiring all the way.