Wednesday, 11 December 2013 12:15
First National Bank Stadium
Johannesburg, South Africa
"It is hard to eulogize any man -- to capture in words not just the facts and the dates that make a life, but the essential truth of a person -- their private joys and sorrows; the quiet moments and unique qualities that illuminate someone's soul. How much harder to do so for a giant of history, who moved a nation toward justice, and in the process moved billions around the world.
"Born during World War I, far from the corridors of power, a boy raised herding cattle and tutored by the elders of his Thembu tribe, Madiba would emerge as the last great liberator of the 20th century. Like Gandhi, he would lead a resistance movement -- a movement that at its start had little prospect for success. Like Dr. King, he would give potent voice to the claims of the oppressed and the moral necessity of racial justice. He would endure a brutal imprisonment that began in the time of Kennedy and Khrushchev, and reached the final days of the Cold War. Emerging from prison, without the force of arms, he would -- like Abraham Lincoln -- hold his country together when it threatened to break apart. And like America's Founding Fathers, he would erect a constitutional order to preserve freedom for future generations -- a commitment to democracy and rule of law ratified not only by his election, but by his willingness to step down from power after only one term.
"Madiba insisted on sharing with us his doubts and his fears; his miscalculations along with his victories. "I am not a saint," he said, "unless you think of a saint as a sinner who keeps on trying." It was precisely because he could admit to imperfection -- because he could be so full of good humor, even mischief, despite the heavy burdens he carried -- that we loved him so.
"Mandela showed us the power of action; of taking risks on behalf of our ideals. But like other early giants of the ANC -- the Sisulus and Tambos -- Madiba disciplined his anger and channeled his desire to fight into organization, and platforms, and strategies for action, so men and women could stand up for their God-given dignity.
Saturday, 07 August 2010 07:00
EXPRESS YOUR THOUGHTS:
The Journal welcomes Letters to the Editor. Letters are accepted on space availability. Letters should be brief and must contain the writer's name and address (or e-mail address). Name may be withheld by request. The ideas and opinions expressed in letters printed here are freely expressed by the writer and may be contrary to the policy of the Journal News. Letters are edited for clarity and may be abbreviated due to space limitations. Write to: LETTERS, The JOURNAL NEWSPAPERS, 1541 N. Lake Avenue, Suite A, Pasadena, California 91104, or FAX to 626-798-3282, or contact us through this website.
Did you know you can get the Pasadena Journal weekly print publication for more news and information?