Mandela Left a Better World for Us
Published: Monday, December 9, 2013
Updated: Monday, December 9, 2013 14:12
When Nelson Mandela was a young man, South Africa was an apartheid nation. People were treated by the color of their skin. Violence was erupting throughout the country and political activists were being imprisoned. But today, when Mandela is not here with us anymore, South Africa had become a better nation, a nation that cherishes democracy and coexistence. Mandela had left a better world than the world he arrived in and people have drawn inspiration from the democratic transition of South Africa. Nevertheless, Mandela’s legacy leaves us a message that we need to decipher.
Inequality and racial prejudice still exist today in the world and nations struggle to find ways to live together in peace. Even now there are moments when severe social injustices occur, we turn our backs and walk away as nothing had happened just like in the apartheid time when some people turned their backs to the freedom movement in South Africa. We can glorify the past and think of all the difficulties Mandela went through serving 27 years in prison, but we should not ignore today. The importance of political activism in our life today should not be overshadowed by the glory of the past. We can look at a video footage of the apartheid, holocaust or any other horrible crime and condemn them by looking at them but the real question is: how many of us are witnessing these sorts of injustices today and chose not to act?
If we want to pay tribute to Mandela, we must make this world a better place when we leave. A better world than the world we arrived in. We cannot ignore the work we have to do regardless the difficulties that we have to face in our lives. We cannot ignore our quintessential obligation to humanity and to animals and to this planet. While saying good bye to Mandela let us not forget his words. E
“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.”
Samantha is a senior majoring in journalism.