Nelson Mandela

Good morning everyone,

It's going to be another nice winter day out there. A high of around 14C and mostly sunny skies. Tomorrow is looking pretty much the same and then it's looking more and more like we can expect rain on Monday. From Tuesday the mercury will start to fall and by the middle of next week, highs will be around 9C or 10C. The good news is that, other than Monday, skies will be clear. I can put up with the cold as long as it's sunny out.

Unless you don't have a tv and never left the house yesterday, then you are already aware that Nelson Mandela passed away early yesterday morning at the age of 95.
nelson mandela
In this digital age everyone is throwing around accolades and praising him and sometimes it's hard to see through the dazzling emotional clutter.

What was it that he did that was so great?

The answer to the 'what' question is easy. He eased South Africa into a democracy without starting a civil war. It's hard to remember now, but nobody in the world thought it would be possible to avoid a civil war in South Africa in the 80s and early 90s. And the fear was that any large-scale war in South Africa would drag the rest of the African continent into the battle.

The answer to the 'how' question is much more complex. And this is why he is so revered in the world. Somehow, through his charm, political savvy, humility, magnanimity...whatever you want to call it, somehow, he was able to bring together mortal enemies and have them both compromise and both groups walked away from any negotiations feeling like they were winners.

The average person, me included, can't imagine how he was able to overcome the resentment and anger he must have felt for being imprisoned for so many years. Yet he did. He worked together with his supporters and enemies and made them all feel like they were part of something new. How he did it is still a mystery. At that time, nobody would have ever predicted a peaceful end to apartheid.

He could see the good in all people-he even went on to become friends with many of his former guards.

But the one thing that makes him so special is that he was able to show the world that a man (or woman) can be a great politician and a great person at the same time. We don't see many politicians like that, do we?

Have a great day!

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