It’s amazing to see the people of South Africa surrender to him, not by blind fanaticism, but by the conviction that he is an unparalleled model of strength behind bars, a hardship he endured without bending, without showing fatigue, fighting every minute for justice, for peace, even withstanding disease in the process.
The struggle for the full dignity of man always accompanied him: it was the focus of his actions in life. The risks the Apartheid involved did not make him fear, despite the dreadful cruelties that shameful system was capable of. He stood proud and serene, as if facing his executioners; the same that made him suffer 27 years in prison.
I would like to quote Mandela’s words, ones of such depth that echo the giant of our times he has become: “Strong convictions are the secret hardships; your spirit can be full even when your stomach is empty.”
In other words, Mandela places bliss, peace, harmony, and social justice above material goods, no matter the sacrifice they imply.
And well!! There is the Noble Peace Prize he won. He deserved it and still does. I’ve never thought it is wise to reduce the work of great people to a list of merits. With Mandela, it is not possible because it seems a pale and schematic reflection of its values. I would rather see it from a humanistic perspective: completely divorced from selfishness, the enemy of evil, in solidarity with those who suffer, brave in its complaint, compelled by his people in a torrent of unparalleled decorum. Those are the things that have made this man become, in all fairness, a genuine leader of our suffering world.
Is there more glory than the million of honest human beings who bow to a man like Mandela full of admiration and pride? It is not possible to watch pass that glory.
Now, immediately after his passing away, and above the tear and sorrow, we should follow his example with concrete actions; it is the greatest tribute we can offer.
We should imitate his relentless combat against injustice, his walk of sacrifice for the humble, his vehement desire for peace among men. Cuba’s national hero Jose Marti said that “ Only love builds” And that was, in the end, the supreme goal of Nelson Mandela’s life, love.
Thank you Madiba for your existence, which was and continues to be, because we will always know where to find you: in combat, in hope, in the smile of a child, a flower, and especially in the fight for the supreme right of the man to live in peace.
Translated by: Daysi Olano
Revised by ESTI