Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Long Walk to Freedom

Last week, the world lost a great civil rights and human rights leader. Former South African President Nelson Mandela passed away last Thursday. The memorial service was earlier today. And the world will probably still be discussing Mandela's legacy in the coming days.

President Obama delivered a speech at today's memorial service, along with current South African President Jacob Zuma and other world leaders. They remembered Nelson Mandela's journey from anti-apartheid activist to political prisoner to South Africa's first black President to perhaps the world's most cherished civil rights icon. And they celebrated Mandiba's contribution to the struggle for racial equality, women's rights, LGBTQ equality, and more.

We can't help but reflect on how far South Africa has come since Mandela began raising hell... And how far he's encouraged us to come as well. After years of struggles and occasional setbacks, we've come a long way in guaranteeing liberty & justice for all. Of course, we still have a long way to go before we arrive there. Nonetheless, we're closer now than we've ever been before.

While Nelson Mandela's long walk to freedom may be over, ours is still in progress. We still have further to walk. We still have more work to do to achieve full freedom.

Mandiba didn't always have it easy. After all, he spent 27 years incarcerated. Much of that time, he was locked in a remote prison cell. Most of us can't relate to that.

However, we can relate to his overall efforts to make a better South Africa and a better world. We can't forget his legacy. Instead, we should build on it.

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