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Thursday, December 05, 2013

No One is Born Hating - Nelson Mandela

"If they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love."

Sadly, the world is now without the physical presence of Nelson Mandela  (1918-2013).  

Even more sad than Mandela's death today in South Africa  is the void his life creates for those of us left behind.

Hindu leader Mahatma Ghandi died in 1948. He believed in non-violence during India's struggles with independence from Great Britain and he's recognized as the Father if the India. An independent India is his legacy.

Blessed Mother Teresa was a woman of peace and understanding. She died in Calcutta in 1997, but her legacy still lives through her religious missions around the world.

Who will carry Mandela's legacy? Obituaries, tributes and memorials like the prison on Robben Island will be challenged to inspire future generations to eradicate inequality driven by racism.

Pope Francis is certainly creating awareness about social inequality. He's addressing greed as being the root cause of injustices, driving economic disparities, that brings harm to the world's poor.  

Tibet's Dalai Lama is another leader for peace and understanding and his legacy is continued by his devoted Buddhist followers.

I'm not convinced there's anyone who can fill the populous shoes of Nelson Mandela. Although his activism was certainly muted in his later years, his life represented altruism - an unselfish concern for the welfare of people who want to improve their human condition.

In death, Mandela will be remembered. But, will his legacy have followers? Regrettably, I'm not convinced inspired leadership is forthcoming following Mandela's death.

Yet, the world desperately needs a Mandela vision for world peace and understanding. "No one is born hating," said Mandela. Humanity needs someone who can carry this message into the future.

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