Making time to enjoy the sound of the rain, and there has been a lot of rain of late. All day long we are bombarded with noise, whether it be the radio in the office, the traffic outside or the TV when we get home. I need the quiet to allow my mind to think and process the day.
Something that has been occupying my mind a lot is the recent passing of our beloved
Nelson Mandela. I recall our rather irrational fear of this man and what would happen to us
all (white South Africans) once he was set free.I remember the
confusion in my mind once he was released at how he seemed to creep into the
hearts of our nation. His genuine love for each and everyone won us over.
Then one day in 1999, after a company lunch in Johannesburg we noticed
several uniformed men with rather large firearms and in the midst of them was a smiling Nelson Mandela. We had all moved out the
way and expected him to just go by. But he stopped, reached out his hand to
shake mine, greeted me and asked how I was and if I had enjoyed my
lunch, smiled, wished me well and went on to greet my co-workers who I was with.
I was overcome with all sorts of emotions. I had
just held the hand of the great Nelson Mandela and spoken with him. This is hard to describe, but he had a sort of aura or energy field around him, and once it touches your life it leaves some of that energy with you.
His effect was that of a bright candle passing by and lighting your little candle with his flame. It does not take away
any of his brightness, instead it leaves behind it a trail of light. Some flames continue burning for years, some go on to light
others and some flames will just burn out.
I hope that the unity South Africa is feeling now will continue and that each and every one of us will go on to
spread a little light and love as Tata Madiba would’ve wanted us to do.
South Africa is a beautiful country and South Africans are amazing people. When we stand together, anything is
possible. So let’s stand together in love and light and live out Madiba's legacy!
Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela
1918 - 2013