Nelson Mandela: The loss of a great man
by Craig Emanuel
Yesterday the world lost a great man. A man who the President of the United States described as one of the “most influential, courageous and profoundly good” people to have ever lived. I am of course talking about the loss of Nelson Mandela, a man, who despite having spent 27 years in prison for openly voicing his views on apartheid, became the first Black President in South Africa who never waivered from speaking out against inhumanity and inequality, not only in his own society, but throughout the world.
Even during his 27 years behind bars, when faced with the opportunity to be released from prison on condition that he renounce his political views, he spoke out and said that “only free men can negotiate.” During this period he spent a considerable period of time in solitary confinement in conditions that would break most men.
Nelson Mandela was a man who made a difference in a world where there continues to be great inequality and racial prejudice. If you think that these problems don’t exist in our own back yard, then your eyes are not fully open.
Inequality does not only exist between people whose skins are of a different color or who are of different religions but also exists between men and women where the earning potential of women performing the same services as their male counterparts remains significantly less, as does their opportunity for advancement.
It was not that many years ago in this country that in some states, interracial marriage was illegal. Today, same sex marriage is still not recognized as a legal relationship in most states.
Throughout history, people like Nelson Mandela have chosen to speak out openly about their views knowing full well the consequences of their actions. It is only because of the actions of these people that we make slow progress towards making our society a better place.
Today’s post is in honor of Nelson Mandela and every other person who has given up a part of their life to pursue such worthy and important social causes.
Today’s pictures are taken from the inside of a train carriage that carried thousands of people inside Poland to the concentration camps where the majority of them met with their untimely death.
These carriages were packed with people like sardines often with no room for anyone to sit down and rest for days. There were no bathrooms; there was no food or water; and as can be seen from the pictures, like the conditions that Nelson Mandela suffered in while in solitary confinement, there was virtually no light. In these carriages many people died along the way but many remained strong and survived and, like Nelson Mandela, have spent their years after the war describing life in the Holocaust so that perhaps one day, anti-Semitism and inequality will be a thing of the past. A day we all look forward to.
“It always seems impossible until it’s done.” – Nelson Mandela
This was reprinted with permission by the author from My Daily Thought.Tags: Anti-semitism, Apartheid, Craig Emanuel, Honor, Inequality, My Daily Thought, Nelson Mandela, President, Racial prejudice, Same sex marriage, South Africa