dimanche, juin 30, 2013

"All heroes have clay feet": a conversation about Nelson Mandela

Like many of you in the States, and like many around this globalized world,  I have been watching, waiting and praying this week, as former South African president Nelson Mandela lay in critical condition in his hospital room.

How strange that Barack Obama should visit this week.

I'm sure that to Obama, as to those of us who pushed for divestment from the apartheid government, Madiba, his tribal name, is loved with (to misquote the poet Elizabeth Barrett Browning) the "love we seemed to love with our lost saints."

Mandela, was, and is, a man, not a superman -- but he was a person capable of what seems to be superhuman integrity, forgiveness, and compassion.

And when we mourn him, when he eventually moves on to that greater realm of love and peace, we will be weeping for the element of our best selves that our heroes incarnate.

In this column you will find perspectives from a scholar and a clergyman -- who look at Mandela's legacy rather differently. Feel free to add your own ideas.


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