Mandela blog   Happy Birthday Mr. Nelson Mandela!

Mr. Mandela spent 67 years making the world a better place. Today, we are urged to spend 67 minutes doing a ‘good deed’, whether donating books and educational materials, blankets, food, money, picking up litter, planting a food garden in a school, visiting the invisibles in hospitals or whatever else we can do.

Nelson Mandela International Day was launched in recognition of his birthday on 18 July, 2009 via unanimous decision of the UN General Assembly. Mr. Mandela said he would be ‘honoured if such a day can serve to bring together people around the world to fight poverty and promote peace and reconciliation’.

We feel such shock and sadness for the passengers of the Malaysian flight from Amsterdam yesterday, and for the ongoing tragedy that is the Israeli-Palestine conflict.

When will there ever be peace in the world? When will we each make our ‘Long Walk to Freedom’? May the day come of renewed hope, even though this seems impossible, so often.

My younger son David, a musician, met Mr. Mandela maybe 10 years back, at his home in Houghton here in Johannesburg, when his school jazz band performed for him. He was fit and well and my son still talks about the power that emanated from him. He knows that he was hugely privileged to have Mr. Mandela shake his hand and beam on him. He made this song years later in honour of Madiba’s birthday 2 years ago in July 2012. It is David’s mix of Mr. Mandela’s real voice. David composed it and he plays the trumpet.

Some of the words are from his inauguration as President on 10 May 1994.

‘Let there be justice for all

‘Let there be peace for all

‘Let there be work, bread, water and salt for all

‘Let each know that for each the body, mind and the soul have been freed to fulfil  themselves

‘Never, never and never again shall it be that this beautiful land will again experience the oppression of one by another and suffer the indignity of being the skunk of the world.’

The link below is ‘The Kifnness’ recording of ‘Never Again’.

The following are further excerpts from his inauguration speech.

‘We are moved by a sense of joy and exhilaration when the grass turns green and the flowers bloom.

‘The time for the healing of wounds has come.

‘The moment to bridge the chasms that divide us has come.

‘The time to build is upon us.

‘We dedicate this day to all the heroes and heroines in this country and the rest of the world who sacrificed in many ways and surrendered their lives so that we could be free’.

36 Comments on Nelson Mandela International Day. ‘Never Again’.

  1. I’ve been reading quotes from Mr. Mandela on Facebook, they pop up from time to time since I liked his page, and I’m always moved by his perseverance. He’s always launching forward, faithfully, unshaken in the knowledge that God will make it all right here, soon, no matter what the problem is. He strikes me as a man who understands the power of prayer to move mountains. He moved some serious mountains in his lifetime too.

    • Thank you Robert. Yes he moved mountains. We so wish he was still around, fit and well, as guide mentor and inspiration. But his spirit lives on in this troubled world.
      Thank you again.

  2. Great quotes. Some leaders have that knack–for spinning words in a way people listen. Winston Churchill comes to mind, as does Abraham Lincoln. Thanks for sharing these.

    • Thanks Jacqui – you put that so well about some leaders spinning words in a way that people listen. It’s a real gift.

  3. This touched my heart and brought tears to my eyes. If only the day would come when the lion shall lay down with the lamb. It fills my soul with hope that one great individual such as Mr. Mandela can make such a difference in the world.

    • Thank you Vicki – the lion lying down with the lamb .. what a lovely image thank you. It’s from the scriptures isn’t it? Words such as Mr. Mandela’s are inspiring and touch me deeply also ..
      How are you? I hope all faring as it can? And that the weather is settling a bit and is warmer .. not too hot:) Cold here on the highveld after a small spell of slightly warmer weather.

      • I am doing very well, thank you so much for asking. Our weather has finally warmed up but a sweater feels very comfortable in the mornings. Are you getting anxious for spring? Hope everything is fine with you?

        • It will be lovely when spring comes but there’s a wait yet! August can be terrible and windy! Dust everywhere! But tonight’s the 21st so exactly 2 months to go until the equinox. Though we’ve been known to have freak snow in October!
          All’s fine thank you Vicki, busy, meeting in an hour here at my home .. glad to hear you’re doing very well 🙂

    • A very fractured world Damyanti … words help sometimes, as do thoughts, prayers, attention to self and others, anything that adds to consciousness.
      Thank you ..

  4. Hi Susan .. wonderful you have such a talented son and I see talented others too .. that must have been an amazing experience to meet Madiba in Houghton … I hope your son has recorded/documented that experience … so he’s got it for the future: I wish I’d been more aware as a kid and done that – I sort of did it when I got to SA …

    Where is this world going .. we really don’t need the Putins of this world … but it’s the other thugs who really don’t think that worry me … and the Middle East/Mediterranean area too ..

    I sincerely hope it all doesn’t get out of hand … – but it’s a Lennon song .. though I’d have had no idea til I looked it up … music I love, but my brain rarely takes it in ..

    Cheers and thanks for posting this .. he was an amazing man .. Hilary

    • Thanks so much Hilary and for providing the link on the history of the song – it was interesting, about John Lennon and Yoko Ono too. I will still try to find the song …

      Yes, pretty troubling times. A different time to eg that of our parents’ generation and living through WW2, but perhaps with a similar underlying unsafe feeling. The world’s gone a bit mad … advanced in so many ways, but on some sort of slide it seems to me.

  5. Thank you for quoting such powerful words from such an amazing person who touched the hearts of so very many on this planet. Your putting them together is touching as well…

  6. let there be peace for all: indeed.
    Thank you for this remembrance >
    I will tell my daughter that she shares a birthday with this great man.

    • susanscott
      July 19, 2014 at 10:19 am (1 min ago)
      The Beatles song has just popped into mind Sandra .. Give Peace a Chance .. at least I think that’s what its called. Thank you for coming by – and happy birthday to your daughter. I hope she had a lovely day and all good wishes for the year ahead.

      Wonder if I could find that song and provide a link …

  7. Boy, your post is beautiful and timely, Susan. Like with my post regarding “community” WHEN are we going to learn to get a long and work things out rather than to fight one another? Is the world becoming too small? Working to help one another is so crucial. The world could be such an incredibly beautiful place.

    There is so much pain in the world, so it is wonderful if each of us does at least one small thing to help others. Mr. Mandela was very wise. Thanks, Susan!

    • Thanks Gwynn… sometimes we don’t even need a reason to help, we just do – because it is in our nature. Which we often forget. I don’t know that there are any answers to what, why, when, where, how?

  8. Your boys are so extraordinarily talented, Susan, just like their mom, and, I suspect, their dad. I love this piece, and my heart is always warmed when artists come together, as you and your sons have, for world peace. Will we ever achieve peace? Doesn’t seem a part of human nature; I am always hopeful that will change.

    Current events are distressing. I wish they’d just stop. Just stop.

    Thanks you for presenting this piece and your thoughts, Susan.

    • Thank you Samantha. I agree, current events are extremely distressing. I’m almost afraid to keep abreast of the news .. are we hell bent on destruction? It surely seems so .. it seems we’re pawns to the manipulator of the puppet strings ..

  9. Beautiful post, Susan. Mandela was indeed a great man, and we need more of him. Thanks for letting me know about this day–shamefully, I didn’t know July 18th was Nelson Mandela Day, or the purpose behind it. Now I do.

    • Thank you Holli. He is an inspiration for sure as are many others past and present. The day was eclipsed a bit by the Malaysian disaster and the Middle East conflict, but it was lovely to see snippets on the news – one that was very special was seeing Graca Machel, his late wife, cooking and feeding at a needy school. She said Nelson would surely be smiling!

  10. Susan! There is something so essentialyl pure and good about you. Thank you for being on the planet with me. Don’t know why I am feeling this emotional — i think it is because you have produced a son with such fine values and I expected no less – listening to his song right now and enjoying it…love from south India…

    • Mira! If there is any truth in what you say, it is only because you own those qualities. Thank you for saying so … I do know that I contain the Medusa and Mother Theresa within, too often the Medusa comes to the fore …

      I too have been feeling wobbly and emotional. So pleased you enjoyed the song!

      Love from SA – And thank you for being on same planet!

  11. Amen to all of this, Susan. I noticed today that Google has a special commemorative banner to honor this day worldwide.

    How wonderful that you have personal stories relating to Mr. Mandela himself. The words of your son’s song are wonderful – thank you for beaming it to all of your followers on this special day of remembrance. My good deed: welcoming a relative in need into our home for an extended visit.

    • I also noted the google banner Marian, how nice!

      Thank you for coming by – that’s a pretty huge good deed welcoming in your relative for an extended visit. I am humbled by this … s/he is blessed as are you.
      Have a wonderful weekend.

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