I was sixteen when Nelson Mandela was set free. He was interviewed upon his release by Oprah who asked him how, after 27 years of incarceration, he wasn’t angry. “My people need my leadership,” he replied, “there is no time for bitterness.”
That was the beginning of the end of apartheid, and I loved him. He was the noblest being I’d ever set eyes and ears on, down to the eloquent root of his soul, caring more for South Africa’s freedom than for his own protection.
There is one thing all heroes and heroines have in common and it isn’t the vector of their mission, nor their courage or vision. Even further beneath those things, is their willingness to die for what they believe in.
To find something worth dying for is to be phenomenally engaged with living. As Mandela put it, ‘to be free is not merely to cast off one’s chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others.’
While you and I might not be called to the massive life Mandela was, we are each in our own way being asked to stand up for what we believe. This isn’t necessarily about holding a moral standpoint, but living your truth outwardly into life.
Even in the incarceration of mundaily living, we have the power to dream. Not only does the master-dreamer honour the impossible, but follows it until it is made real.
Dear readers, let us collaborate in honour of the great Madiba. Write to me with your dreams made true. Tell me about the time you madly leapt and the ground really did rise up under you. Tell me what you left behind, and how you won’t miss it. Tell me how you defeated bitterness and followed the synchronicity breadcrumbs out of the thicket. Tell me about the bridge you built, from your dreams into your wakes. Tell me how impossible things became possible once you started believing in them.