I study Religion and Peace. My heart and mind tend to wander more than they should.
Last night I had a dream that I met Diana von Fürstenberg and told her I followed her on Instagram. Asked for a picture and she fist bumped me. Life’s weird.
Nelson Mandela (1918-2013)
May he rest in peace
Tonight around 7 PM, I learned of Nelson “Madiba” Mandela’s death. I knew he was sick, so this news wasn’t terribly startling. As the night went on, I recalled reading about righteous anger and how Nelson Mandela was the shining example of what this means. As I remember studying in a Christian Ethics and Feminism class, righteous anger is what gives birth to revolution. It’s the gut wrenching feeling that we get when someone devalues another’s humanity to lift up their own. It’s part of our humanity to have this anger. We should be upset when our brothers and sisters are broken by another. What we do with our anger sets great leaders apart from followers.
Just as I’m typing this post, CNN’s Anderson Cooper keeps questioning how Mandela was capable of compassion towards white settlers in South Africa. I can only think of righteous anger. I can only think of forgiveness. He devoted his life to forgiveness and reconciliation. Mandela knew that hating another because of their hatred only produced more hate. Loving your enemies startles hate, giving us an opportunity to change the world.
I love the press release from FPOTUS Bill Clinton: “Today the world has lost one of its most important leaders and one of its finest human beings. And Hillary, Chelsea and I have lost a true friend.
History will remember Nelson Mandela as a champion for human dignity and freedom, for peace and reconciliation. We will remember him as a man of uncommon grace and compassion, for whom abandoning bitterness and embracing adversaries was not just a political strategy but a way of life. Our thoughts and prayers go out to Graça and his family and to the people of South Africa. All of us are living in a better world because of the life that Madiba lived. He proved that there is freedom in forgiving, that a big heart is better than a closed mind, and that life’s real victories must be shared.”
Rest In Peace Mandela. Your spirit will live on in peacemakers around the world.