Nelson Mandela passed away today and along with the rest of the world, I mourn him. As the daughter of two South Africans, I feel like he was a man that I have known about for my whole life. He is my Father’s hero. The first time I ever saw my Dad cry, was the day Nelson was released from Prison.
There’s nothing I can write about this man that hasn’t already been written today. But I have been thinking about the way Nelson described the loss of someone who meant a lot to him.
In Long Walk to Freedom, he explained how he felt when his best friend Oliver Tambo passed away. The way he described Oliver, actually seems like a very apt way to describe Nelson himself:
“In Plato’s allegory of the metals, the philosopher classifies them into groups of gold, silver and lead. Oliver (and Nelson) was pure gold. There was gold in his intellectual brilliance, gold in his warmth and humanity, gold in his tolerance and generosity, gold in his unfailing loyalty and self sacrifice. As much as I respected him as a leader, that is how much I loved him as a man”.
Madiba, you were the greatest man in our life time. Thank you for changing the world. May you rest in peace.