Friday, 6 December 2013

Madiba - How one man changed the world......

I have been surprised at the impact Nelson Mandela's death has had on me. I have been in tears many, many times since I heard the news.  One part of me was so happy for him that he is now at peace and resting in the quiet and another part of me longs for him to still be here to hold the reconciliation that he fought so strongly for.  I also realise as I write that this man changed me, changed me personally, he gave me the belief that one person can make a difference, that when you stick to your values and are willing to 'fight' for what is 'right' you can, and will have an impact in the world.

I was with a Coaching client this morning at 8am and what surprised both of us is that I needed to speak my sadness at the loss of Madiba before I could continue with the call. I was in tears!  I said I had been thinking, would I be willing to go to prison for all those years in order to take a stand for what I believed in, my initial reaction was, no, I'm not sure I would.  Then I remembered that he was actually taking a stand for his children and his grand children, he was determined that they would not have to live a life of in-equality and that was what he fought for.  Am I willing to take a stand for that, YES, do I have children of my own to fight for? NO, are there generations of other people's kids that are worth fighting for, god damn it YES.....  I often say to my Coaches in training - I want to thank you from the children of your clients, because that is the work you are choosing to do, to change and shift the generations to come.

So, for me Madiba took a stand for his people, all of us, not just the black people who of course were being treated very badly, but he took a stand for all of us, for the wholeness that comes from being inclusive, from appreciating everyone and everything in life.  We might not like everything and everyone and there is always something to appreciate.

For me Nelson Mandela stands for Freedom, for Life, for Change and for humanity.  I feel in deep appreciation that I was alive at a time where I could be influenced by such a huge figure and one who carried himself with such humility.  I remember reading 'long walk to freedom' over 20 years ago and being staggered by the fact that having completed his BA, he had no idea of his own personal history or that of his tribe.  This experience made me think deeply about my life and my history and the footprints I want to leave behind me for others to walk in.

Madiba you are an inspiration, you are the definition of Leadership and you model a beautiful mix of 'generative power' and 'generative love' to the people. A hearty mix that changes the world. See Adam Kahne's book 'Power and love' for the definition.  I felt the urge to write today, I'm glad I took the time to put finger to keyboard.  May the world send loving energy to Madiba so that his transition from his human overcoat to that of his spirit be easy and flowing, so that he continues to inspire and motivate us.

Thank you Nelson Mandela.  Tata Madiba!
These are my words