25 Days of Do-Goodery: Day 6 [Mourning Mandela]

Today, we interrupt our regularly scheduled programming for a special tribute.

“A good head and good heart are always a formidable combination. But when you add to that a literate tongue or pen, then you have something very special.” -Nelson Mandela

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Yesterday, the world lost a most extraordinary human. Nelson Mandela was the epitome of a do-gooder, a change-maker, and a ruckus-starter… so it’s probably no surprise that I’ve admired him since I first learned about him in school many moons ago.

I won’t go in to *all* of his achievements because, quite frankly, I’d be writing for days. But there are a few particular things that stood out to me as I learned about him when I was young. Things that inspired me in my own journey in life.

  • First and foremost, his given name at birth was Rolihlahla Mandela. Rolihlahla literally means “pulling the branch of a tree” but more colloquially translates to “troublemaker.” The man was born a ruckus-starter.
  • After 27 years of being imprisoned for his plans to overthrow the apartheid government in South Africa, he became the first black president of his nation. He fought hard to dismantle apartheid, racism, poverty, and inequality during his time as President. His initiatives and negotiations changed everything for South Africa – a change-maker of legendary status.
  • Last, but not least, after Mandela left political office, he continued his work as a down-right do-gooder… a human rights advocate and philanthropist in the HIV/AIDS movement.

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Nelson Mandela was a triple-threat of greatness ignited in my book. 

He did good, made change, and started a ruckus that resulted in a better world for his people to live, work, and play within.

So here’s a toast to Rolihlahla as the world mourns the loss of one of its greatest leaders to ever live.

May you rest peacefully, Nelson Mandela.

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