I am often asked who are my favourites leaders, and top of the list is always Nelson Mandela.
So today, as I write this I have a tear in my eye, with the news that Nelson Mandela passed away.
Nelson was a true inspiration, not only to me, but to millions of people around the world. He lived the mantra of “be the change that you want to see in the world”.
He was without doubt one of the greatest ever Leaders and with his passing the world is truly a lesser place.
One of my favourite quotes from Nelson is “As I walked out the door toward the gate that would lead to my freedom, I knew if I didn’t leave my bitterness and hatred behind, I’d still be in prison.”
Nelson had plenty of reasons to hate his oppressors, and many chances to take revenge, but he also had the strength of character and understanding that he needed to leave all of this behind in order to be truly free, and to be able to bring the changes to South Africa that he wanted to see.
He embraced his oppressors, much to shock of his supporters, and in some cases contrary to what they believed was the right course of action, in order to create a multicultural South Africa which would be the best South Africa that it could be.
He turned his back on petty jealous, revenge, knowing in his heart that this was the right direction.
How many of us would have had the strength to do the same, I would like to raise my hand, but after spending 27 years in prison, I am not sure I, or many others would be able to do that.
It was one of my dreams to meet Nelson Mandela, that dream is now no longer possible, but what is possible is to follow his example in Lead in an unselfish way looking to make the world a better place, rather than just looking for personal gain, and passing this message on to as many people as possible.
As I said earlier, today is a sad day, but lets us in wallow in sadness, but celebrate a man who was a giant amongst men, a man who changed the world for the better, who had the courage to do what he thought was right in the face of very strong opposition.
Nelson we love you.