Saturday, December 07, 2013

Mandela & the Seemingly "Impossible"

Free Mandela Protest, Berlin 1988 (Photo Credit: Gabriele Senft, Wikipedia)
"Gandhi rejects the Adam Smith notion of human nature as motivated by self-interest and brute needs and returns us to our spiritual dimension with its impulses for nonviolence, justice and equality. He exposes the fallacy of the claim that everyone can be rich and successful provided they work hard. He points to the millions who work themselves to the bone and still remain hungry." - Nelson Mandela, 12 Mandela Quotes That Won't Be In the Corporate Media Obituaries, Common Dreams, 12-6-13

Mandela called freedom from poverty a “fundamental human right.” Mandela considered poverty one of the greatest evils in the world, and spoke out against inequality everywhere. “Massive poverty and obscene inequality are such terrible scourges of our times — times in which the world boasts breathtaking advances in science, technology, industry and wealth accumulation — that they have to rank alongside slavery and apartheid as social evils,” he said. He considered ending poverty a basic human duty: “Overcoming poverty is not a gesture of charity. It is an act of justice. It is the protection of a fundamental human right, the right to dignity and a decent life,” he said. “While poverty persists, there is no true freedom.” Six Things Nelson Mandela Believed That Most People Won’t Talk About, Think Progress, 12-6-13

I don't read obituaries. And I don't write them.
But Mandela the legend will never die, so I will say this -

Mandela was a strong man, a visionary, an evolutionary. And he stood tall in a dry barren place, and declared, "This is a riverbed." "No," they bellowed, "this is a desert." And they called him dangerous, and mad. And they built a cage around him. But he refused to lay down or shut up. "This is a riverbed!" "No, it's a desert!" 

And then after he had spent almost three decades in that cage, the river came roaring in, and blasted away what they had built around him. And he stood tall, welcoming that great river, with a heart that had not been imprisoned for decades even though his body had been. 

And as the river roared through, he grew taller and taller, until like the Colossus of Rhodes, he dominated the landscape. But unlike the Colossus, Mandela does not have weak knees. His monument will not be brought down when the earth shakes. Mandela will endure.

I read Long Walk to Freedom, in my forties, as I prepared myself for what was coming in this tortured nation of ours. I urge you to read it. 

You will never again look at the seemingly "impossible" in the same way. 

Nelson Mandela's First TV Interview (1961)

See also "We Undertake That We Too Will Do What We Can to Contribute to the Renewal of Our World ..."

My new (ninth) book User's Guide to Human Incarnation, The Yoga of Primal Reality is available now from