Nelson Mandela was one of the great fighters for freedom in world history. Changing the face of his country forever, the cities in South Africa where Mandela lived still bear witness to his legacy. From his political activities to his imprisonment to his leadership of South Africa, there is much that the world can learn from his story.
Mandela’s influence and impact were indeed felt around the globe. Certainly, the life and times of one of the most prominent figures of the twentieth century are filled with lessons that are of importance to us all. For those who are unfamiliar with the specifics of Nelson Mandela’s story, here we have assembled some of the key moments in his historic life.
Let’s take a closer look at some of the ways in which Nelson Mandela changed the world.
He Is A Shining Example Of Dedication To A Cause
After being jailed for twenty-seven years for political reasons, he emerged from his imprisonment still fully committed to the ideals of revolutionising the ruling structure of South Africa. Years later, Mandela became the first elected black head of state in that country as well as the first elected person in South Africa following a truly representative general election.
Ultimately, after great struggle and sacrifice, he succeeded in being an instrumental force behind the dismantling of the apartheid system in South Africa. For these reasons, Mandela’s story stands as a timeless testament to what stern dedication to a cause can do. It is no surprise that Nelson Mandela Day is celebrated around the world each year.
He Was Graceful In Victory
Even after apartheid was dismantled and the power structure of South African society was being reconstructed along more racially egalitarian lines, Mandela was not vindictive in victory. Mandela did not seek revenge against former enemies. His focus was reconciliation and figuring out a means of tying South African society back together after years of division and hate. As a result, South Africa moved out of apartheid onto the world stage and rejoined the international community with fresh strength.
For this, Mandela represents a beacon of hope for our own turbulent and troubled times. With the political life of countries across the world, including the United States and many European democracies, becoming increasingly polarised, we can look to the story of Mandela as an inspiration of what can happen when two sides of a conflict come together.
He Was Nonviolent
Mandela, like Martin Luther King Jr. and Mahatma Gandhi, was a proponent of the nonviolent struggle. While he trained as a revolutionary and was called a terrorist by his enemies, Mandela attempted to maintain a nonviolent stance throughout his political and personal life. This commitment to not engaging in violent conflict was one of the reasons why he received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1993.
Now, Mandela stands among other historical figures who also advocated a similar approach towards effecting systemic change. With wars flaring up around the world all the time, we can all take a page out of Mandela’s book and look to nonviolent options as the most effective choice of tactic in many situations.
More On Mandela
The bits of Mandela’s life that are outlined here are only a small selection of key moments and lessons to be learned from his life story. If you are inspired by the personal or political achievements of one of the most influential people in world history, then look into more information about Nelson Mandela. We can all learn something from his incredible journey, however small our struggles may be in comparison.