A Giant Passes

I was taken aback by how moved I was to hear that Nelson Mandela passed away. Sure he’s a hero of mine, but tears?!

He was possibly the greatest influencer in public life of our time and it occurs to me that my reaction is related to why he was such a genius at effecting others.

Amongst many gifts he possessed was a rare & special ability to trigger empathy in others. We easily sensed his feeling for his fellow humans, and even though it is difficult to see life through his eyes, we all wanted to and so did our best.

We all relate to his heroic story – from political prisoner to political power, holding true to his vision throughout, changing the fabric of a nation without violence or revenge. Indeed he literally institutionalised forgiveness. It’s a rare individual who is unmoved by such forbearance.

More than that he won our hearts, filled us with admiration, wonder, inspiration, love.

So it’s with humility and a real sense of awe that I humbly offer him as an exemplar of Grace. He was the giant of resonance, triggering positive emotion in millions of us, critically doing so in those whose collaboration or goodwill he needed to deliver his vision.

It’s no coincidence that he was also a giant of learned ownership, taking responsibility for his situation, mastering his conditioning, rising above his circumstances by living an optimistic internal life: “I always knew that someday I would once again feel the grass under my feet and walk in the sunshine as a free man. I am fundamentally an optimist”.

We are all enriched by your time with us Madiba. Thank you.

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