Nelson Mandela, 1918-2013

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FILE PHOTO: Nelson Mandela Stable After Undergoing Operation“What counts in life is not the mere fact that we have lived. It is what difference we have made to the lives of others that will determine the significance of the life we lead.”

— Nelson Mandela

When I found out that Nelson Mandela had died, I felt small and alone and scared. It’s like when I was young and had a problem but my parents weren’t home to solve it. I was old enough to be home by myself – but I still wanted someone wiser and older and better to be there with me. That’s how I feel today. Like all of a sudden we are home alone.

But it hit me this evening that we ARE wiser and older and better now. We are the peacemakers, we are the caretakers, we are the decision makers now. We are the grown-ups and this planet is ours.The buck stops with us.

Let’s honor Mandela by doing the very, very hard work of refusing to fight others and choosing instead to fight our own egos. Let’s fight for our Earth and for the vulnerable folks – our sisters and brothers – who live on it. Let’s take our places as the leaders of this home. And let’s start in our own families and friendships and neighborhoods.

If not us, then who? If not now, when? 

Thank you, Mr. Nelson Mandela. We will take care of this place you loved so fiercely and tenderly. Until we meet again.

                                                                     –Glennon Doyle Melton

When someone like Nelson Mandela dies, it’s hard to know what to say. I like the words of Ms. Melton reminding us that we all have our own work to do in the spirit of Mandela. There is a lovely tribute to him on the UMC.org page highlighting his many connections to Methodism. May he continue to inspire us all, and may he truly rest in peace.

–Caren Swanson

This entry was posted in In the News, Inspiration and tagged , by Caren Swanson. Bookmark the permalink.

About Caren Swanson

Caren is a former Wellness Advocate with Spirited Life who hails from a small town in the hills of NH, but currently lives in Durham, NC with her family. She enjoys growing, picking and arranging flowers, climbing the magnolia trees in Duke Gardens with her daughter Clara, and hosting potlucks with friends and neighbors.

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