As we prepare for Christmas, as we light our candles to brighten short dark days and as we light our Advent candles on a Sunday – I see the warm glow of Nelson Mandela’s legacy shining on.
Nelson (the name given to him by his school teacher) Mandela, son of Africa kindled the unwavering first Candle of Hope. A symbolic flame for everything he believed in and fought for, never giving up hope, not for one day in 27 years. Not ever.
* “I am fundamentally an optimist. Whether that comes from nature or nurture, I cannot say. Part of being optimistic is keeping one’s head pointed toward the sun, one’s feet moving forward. There were many dark moments when my faith in humanity was sorely tested, but I would not and could not give myself up to despair. That way lays defeat and death.” NRM
Madiba – a tribal name bestowed on persons of great respect – also held the second candle – the Candle of Love – showing the people of South Africa and the rest of the world the way of positive change.
**“No one is born hating another person because of the color of his skin, or his background, or his religion. People must learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love, for love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite.” NRM
“Tata” – the Xhosa word for father, and in this case father to all South Africans, lived and radiated the Candle of Joy. His love, his smile, his humour, his song and his dance was his daily reflection of his lasting joy – and his profound ability to forgive!
**** “If you want to make peace with your enemy, you have to work with your enemy. Then he becomes your partner.” NRM
As I reflect on Advent and Christmas – a time of arrival, family, love, and sharing – the light of the candles shine on all my blessings and I realise that everyday can be lived as a “Madiba” day, not only at Christmas time.
I wish you a wonderful time with your family this Christmas. I look forward to seeing you in 2014 and wish you an excellent start to the New Year.
Hope, love, joy and peace!