I had prepared my piece for today and it was to round off Inspire World for the year. Of course other segments of Ai.de.Yarn! would continue as the community would be bubbling all through the yuletide, but Inspire World would be going on a 6 week hiatus to come back fully loaded for 2014.
The plan was to close up on the ‘Big Picture’ serial that we started last week and as I worked out the lines in my head to drop some thoughts, it happened.
All major networks around the world changed their program schedule as they united in honouring this great man. As a major network we can only but follow the cue.
My niece actually asked me, ‘why are all the channels showing this old man?’
‘Because he’s great,’ was all I could say, not sure if that was the right answer, but very sure about the accuracy of my statement.
In learning about the 5 levels of Leadership, the 5th level which is ‘Personhood’, which John Maxwell termed ‘Pinnacle’ in his book of same title, Mandela was the example given by the trainer for the global leader on this level and his example made the picture of this level very clear – this is the level of leadership by respect.
Mandela was a man who lived by the ‘Big Picture’ rule and though there are many spices that seasoned his life to such great taste, 2 major ingredients stand tall amongst this many others and they are his;
Named Rolihlahla at birth, which means ‘Troublemaker’, separated pieces of his life at its early stage looked to be a literal description of his name but he set his eyes on the Big Picture that he had carefully painted and that big picture in turn, determined his choices.
At 23, he escaped from an arranged marriage by running away from home, leaving the comfort of an ‘all expense paid’ wedding ceremony to facing the ‘inconvenience’ of education as he went on to study Law as one of the few black students in his University.
His escape reminds me of Joseph escaping from Portiphar’s wife and then it hit me…Daniel, what are you willing to escape from?
It is one question we should ask ourselves…what good are we willing to escape from, to walk in the steps of our greatness?
Our dreams, desires and wishes are of very little significance when our choices are in opposite directions.
As a 53 year old, ‘Mr Troublemaker’s’ organisation was outlawed by the government and instead of fighting like he was normally prone to do, he went underground for a while. That same year 69 people were killed by police.
Take a minute and reflect, asking yourself this question, ‘what if Mandela was one of the 69 killed protesters?’
It is called STRATEGY, knowing what move to make and knowing when to make that move. It reminds me of David at the battle of Keilah where he flee from Saul. Scriptures record that David did not lose a battle as a king, meaning running to fight another day isn’t such a bad thing after all, it all depends on whether it’s a part of your strategy.
As ‘Mr Troublemaker’ continously made his choices, it didn’t matter anymore what name he was given at birth, he made a new name for himself – Mandela – a symbol of Peace.
Everyone is given a name at birth, but only a few make a name with their life
A 787 word article cannot aptly describe the greatness of the man – Mandela – and when Forbes doesn’t call you ‘one of the greatest leaders’ but ‘the greatest leader’ of our age, then that is something to admire.
The last piece of his ‘Big Picture’ has been slot into position, the last stroke of the brush on the canvas has been painted and we like the picture that we see. The question that remains is…how will your CHOICES and STRATEGY impact on the outcome of your Big Picture?
As I have these ‘conversations with myself’, the song that is dedicated to celebrate Mandela rounds off, and there could not have been a better last line than this – ‘Oh, What a beautiful life!’
During my lifetime I have dedicated myself to this struggle of the African people. I have fought against white domination, and I have fought against black domination. I have cherished the ideal of a democratic and free society in which all persons live together in harmony and with equal opportunities. It is an ideal which I hope to live for and to achieve. But if needs be, it is an ideal for which I am prepared to die. – Mandela.
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