Allow me to reflect on the life of the great Nelson Mandela by quoting from his autobiography Long Walk to Freedom.
“Freedom is indivisible; the chains on any one of my people were the chains on all of my people were the chains on me.”
“A man who takes away another’s man freedom is a prisoner of hatred, he is locked behind the bars of prejudice and narrow-mindedness. I am not truly free if I am taking away someone else’s freedom, just as surely I am not free when my freedom is taken away from me. The oppressed and oppressor alike are robbed of their humanity.”
“The truth is that we are not yet free; we have merely achieved the freedom to be free, the right not to be oppressed. We have not taken the final step of our journey, but the first step on a longer and even more difficult road. For to be free is not merely to cast off one’s chains, but to life in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others. The true test to our freedom is just beginning.”
In ending, he stated:
“I have walked that long road to freedom. I have tried not to falter; I have made missteps along the way. But I have discovered the secrets that after climbing a great hill, one only finds that there are many more hills to climb. I have taken a moment to rest, to steal a view of the glorious vista that surrounds me, to look back on the distance I have come. But I can only rest for a moment, for with freedom come responsibilities, and I dare not linger, for my long walk is not yet ended.”
What a Man! And we are privileged to live when he lived. We salute him as a man of all times.