This week we witnessed the passing of an incredible icon. Mr. Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela based his entire life on the principle of dialogue and the art of listening and speaking to others. And he was convinced that if we all did this, we could have a profound impact on the world. He encouraged people to enter into dialogue – often about difficult subjects – in order to address the challenges we face today. I've been moved by the sentiments shared by so many at his passing. I'm struck by the fact that, as I look back on his life, his many trials and tribulations, I feel challenged to act. To do something designed to make this great world better. Former Secretary of State, Gen. Colin Powell, talked about what it would be like if our politicians attempted to carry out there duties with the level of love and compassion that Mr. Mandela eventually showed. I loved this quote from BBC News:
Mr Powell said that Mr Mandela was a guide to him when he became the first black US secretary of state:
What I liked telling people was I was the first secretary of state who happened to be black, and I put that descriptor behind the title. We have to get beyond these labels depending upon your gender or your colour or your background. I'm proud of being black, and I'm proud of being an immigrant of British subjects, but at the same time I want to be seen as an American. And I think Nelson Mandela was able to create that kind of an image within South Africa. We are not black South Africans or white South Africans, we are South Africans who happen to be black or white. We are one family, one nation, one people.
I really think that says it all!
I'll finish this post by sharing with you the lyrics to one of my favorite songs by India Arie:
Lyrics © Warner/Chappell Music, Inc., Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, WINDSWEPT HOLDINGS LLC