This morning I was struck by a parent who spoke at my daughter’s school. He grabbed the microphone and brought up Nelson Mandela with the kids and adults. As he spoke he began to hold back his tears, “Ask your parents about him kids, Nelson Mandela spoke to us about self-respect, dignity, peace, and living together.” Then the parent put the microphone down, and the kids sang, “Lean On Me.” There wasn’t a dry eye in the house this morning. Men and women crying.
I can not speak for you, but I can speak for myself, Mandela taught me that his life was a life of living “wholeheartedly”. Living from the whole heart, the fullness of yourself, and yes you will be met with strong opposition by the mediocre. But what I love about love is that it serves everyone, and if it doesn’t serve everyone, sooner or later it will crumble, because a foundation built on fear, hate, and war can only crumble under love. Love is sustaining. Love always wins and wins out. When I was in school I read this quote by Mandela, ““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.” It blew me away. I remember thinking, “Yes I must love, I am here to love”. Then I thought how can I do that, and my journey inward began. Love is a powerful force. Love is natural, hate is not.
Mandela’s passing is a great lose in this world, but in every lose is a chance to learn. I feel like the baton is being passed to each of us. All 7 billion of us on this planet, to live in integrity, self-respect, peace, and love each other. It is funny to me, in school we learn about and celebrated the great generals, who in time we all forget about. But when leaders stand up for the whole, stand in love, we celebrate them for years, like Martin Luther King, Nelson Mandela, Mother Theresa, Gandhi, etc… because love endures. What is interesting is that we live in a society of being famous, celebrity, and success, yet the most significant people on this planet are the lovers not the fighters. The one’s who stand for everyone, not themselves. We admire the selfless, and can’t stand the selfish. We love the leaders that stand for us all, that stand for the one’s who are to scared to speak up, we love the leaders that say, “We are all in this together, no matter your race, creed, color, religion.” Love dislikes division. We preach God is love, and kill each other. So yes we all are responsible, but in turn, we are also responsible for learning about love and stop training ourselves to hate each other, and starts from the inside out.