osewalrus (osewalrus) wrote,

A Brief Reflection On The Passing of Nelson Mandela

Of the many remarkable things about Nelson Mandela, what I find most remarkable is that he was both a revolutionary leader and a man capable of building the country and leading it after the revolution. And when the time came for him to step aside and demonstrate how democratic transition of power works, he did that as well. After he retired from active politics, he continued to exercise quiet moral authority in a way that bolstered, rather than overshadowed, his successors.

His choice to pursue reconciliation, in a way that openly acknowledged the violence and injustice of the past but allowed South Africa as a whole to move beyond it, demonstrated a reconstruction genuinely run by the "angels of our better nature." It was a wonder and an astonishment to a world that often confuses "vengeance" with "justice."

Mandela also had this blessing. He lived long enough to see his dreams realized. Not all of them. Their is much poverty and inequality remaining in South Africa. But he lived to see true political freedom for his people and he set them on a path to better days.

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