Thursday, December 5, 2013


Madiba.  Nelson Mandela.  A man willing to look past the hatred of the minority of his nation and see what could be.  A man with faults and insecurities who still fought for what was right and good.  I struggle to find words to describe the admiration I have for Madiba.  He wanted to leave the world a better place than he found it, and he succeeded.  For that, I am grateful.  Today is a sad day as we mourn his death. We've known for months that this day was imminent, and yet I still find myself taken by surprise and deep grieving.  I don't like a world post Diana, Teresa, Margaret, and now and Nelson. 

Each year, I spend about two weeks teaching Apartheid to my 6th graders.  My goal is to have a classroom of respect that transcends beyond physical appearances and social status.  The students know discrimination occurs, but they are still shocked to learn just how backwards South Africa became with a minority ruling over the majority.  They see the heroism of Nelson Mandela as truth they can relate to.  He inspires them.  We watch Invictus, knowing that the film over indulges the success of the rugby championship, but still to see how one person can work to inspire others.  They get it, y'all.  It makes a difference.

"I can rest only for a moment, for with freedom come responsibilities, and I dare not linger, for my long walk is not yet ended."

"As we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.”

“Do not judge me by my successes, judge me by how many times I fell down and got back up again.”
"It always seems impossible until its done."

Teach truth to children.  Let them learn about the personality traits that allow a person to make big and little differences in the world.  Teach and instill those traits.  Let Madiba's legacy live on in our children today.  It's the best gift we can offer a man who offered the world so much. 

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