As I visit the various news websites and absorb the tributes, as I read the numerous posts on Facebook from all different kinds of people, it occurs to me that the most expected expression of grief, “RIP Nelson Mandela” (Madiba), followed by “a Light has been extinguished” is, for me, simply not appropriate.
Madiba spent his life fighting for the rights of all peoples to be treated justly and with respect and dignity. For this fight, he forfeited his own rights and freedom for 27 years. He emerged from his experiences not only to change his homeland, South Africa, but the world.
For this reason, I wish not to see his legacy rest in peace, but rather, that what he lived and breathed for continues to thrive in all of us in one way or another. May we continue to pursue justice not just for ourselves, but for each and every one of us. Let us practise the lessons of peace that he taught us, let us practise showing honour to one another, and let us practise treating each other with respect and dignity. Madiba was just not a friend to dignitaries and world leaders; he was a friend to all humanity. May his light continue to shine for the rest of our years and let us remember him by educating future generations to come, with the principles that he has taught us.
As I look further at the posts on Facebook, I note that he has been an inspiration to the generation to which the torch of leadership is soon to be passed.
From what I’ve read of this, I am reassured and hopeful that the light of Mandela is far from being extinguished.