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March 2019

Articles

Chariman Articles


Mandela-Madiba : 95th Birthday Leader of the Centuries to Come

A man who was not bitter about those who put him 27 years in prison is Mandela-a giant with vision and focus. A man whose most important legacy is: ‘to lead as much by what he chooses not to do as what he does’ is Mandela, a man whose important message is – there is nothing black and white in this complex world.

The United Nations hasrecognized the anti-apartheid leader's birthday, 18th July, as an opportunity to honor his legacy. It is called Mandela Day.

The Mandela Day campaign message for his 95th birthday in 2013 is simple: Madiba-as he was fondly called-gave 67 years of his life fighting for the rights of humanity, as an advocate, as activist, as politician. So, as a symbolic gesture, everyone gives 67 minutes of their time, whether it’s supporting your chosen campaign on social activities, environmental protection or serving your local community or simply by reading about his monumental work and reflecting.

I recall following eight lessons culled out by Richard Stengel, Biographer of Mandela.

  1. Courage is not absence of fear-it’s inspiring others to move beyond it.
  2. Lead from front-but do not leave your base behind.
  3. Lead from the back-and let others believe they are in front.
  4. Know your enemy-and learn about his favorite sport.
  5. Keep your friends close-and your rivals even closer.
  6. Appearances matter-and remember to smile.
  7. Nothing is black and white.
  8. Quitting is leading too.

When asked 'how the man who emerged from prison differed from the willful young man who had entered it?'. He replied, "I came out mature".

We all need to come out mature from the prison of modern and consumer oriented unsustainable world. Give 67 minutes to reflect on the way we leave and how together we can make it sustainable.

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