Yesterday, the world lost a great human being. Nelson Mandela was one of the few people who could honestly say that he left the world a better place than when he came into it. His selflessness, his dedication to the concepts of equality and decency, his refusal to wreak retribution on those who had caused him so much misery stand as beacons, as guiding lights for us all. As we go forward in our lives, even as we consider Canada’s constitutional issues, we can draw much from Nelson Mandela’s words, spoken in relation to South Africa and the establishment of a new constitution in the post-apartheid era, but applicable in any country:
“Historical enemies succeeded in negotiating a peaceful transition from apartheid to democracy exactly because we were prepared to accept the inherent capacity for goodness in the other. My wish is that South Africans never give up on the belief in goodness, that they cherish that faith in human beings as a cornerstone of our democracy.”
Thank you Nelson Mandela. You have enriched us all.