Nelson Mandela, who brought together a country torn by years of racial strife and resentment, believed that sports had the power to change the world. He believed that sports can promote peace and human harmony by appealing to the wellsprings of respect and love in the human soul.
Mandela was a giant of a statesman, whose passing leaves us with pigmies at the helm of most countries. But when someone dies after giving a lifetime to humanity, we should at least pay them the respect of addressing what they said, even if we disagree with them.
"The policy-driven reforms have focused largely on outputs, i.e. achievements on test scores, without the same atte...
I had the good fortune to meet Mr. Mandela in 1994 in my homeland of South Africa, days before the historic elections. The journey leading to that meeting was a long one, a circle, a return to my childhood.
Lobbying Chemical Bank to divest in South Africa was the catalyst for my involvement not only in the anti-apartheid movement, but in the advocacy of civil rights over a lifetime.
Let us hope the media continues to spread such positive, moving messages and displays of great leadership, and hope it will inspire all 193 leaders of the United Nations' General Assembly to follow in Mandela's footsteps to build peace and uphold human rights for all.
Amidst all that the world's people and their leaders have said following his death, is humanity praising Nelson Mandela to high heaven without listening to a word he said?
If Mandela could get beyond his resentment of his treatment and the treatment of an entire country of black South Africans, surely there can be hope for other people to do the same in other areas of the world.
Mandela became our conscience. He transcended race and class. His thought was on the collective, not his individual pain. He was an authentic leader who never claimed to be perfect. His is a story of transformation, from militant freedom fighter to peacemaker.
This week brought the passing of Nelson Mandela. He was a man whose towering authority derived from his relentless devotion to humanity at its most basic level. While locked away for 27 years, the rage of injustice was supplanted by a willingness to build bridges to those who'd imprisoned him. After his release in 1990, his first goal was reconciliation, not retribution. "The whites are our fellow South Africans," he said the next morning. "We want them to feel safe." And after becoming the first democratically elected black president of South Africa, that unremitting dedication to what's best in us continued. "He no longer belongs to us," said President Obama upon learning of his death, "he belongs to the ages." But let's not relegate him to the ages just yet -- we desperately need his spirit of transcendence and compassion right now. As he wrote in 1995: "It always seems impossible until it's done." Rest in Peace, Madiba.
Eighty-two-year-old Sr. Megan Rice of the Society of the Holy Child Jesus, Greg Boertje-Obed and Michael Walli face thirty years in prison for entering the Y-12 National Security Complex in Oak Ridge, Tenn. Let's pray with them during these advent days that Isaiah's oracle would be fulfilled and we will soon "beat swords into plowshares" and "study war no more."
He spoke with warmth and sincerity and reached out for understanding and reconciliation. Yet, it was clear that when his core positions were in issue, he was steel encased in velvet.
Facts? They'll go with feelings... ...
Today we celebrate the life and legacy of Nelson Mandela. It is worth reflecting on his ability to transcend politics when speaking about contentious scientific issues. Nowhere was this more apparent than in the difficult politics surrounding HIV/AIDS at the turn of the millennium.
Chanukah comes to an end this week. It is the holiday of extending and holding the light. Mr. Mandela did just that in his lifetime. Perhaps he has passed the torch to all of us who admired his life. It would be a privilege and duty to keep this flame of social justice burning.
Welcome back (after we took last week off, to digest) to our Friday roundup! We should have two weeks of news to cover, but nothing much of anything strange or startling happened Thanksgiving week, so we're going to concentrate on just this current week.