I found it hard to surmise the life of such an impressive man, whose actions bettered the lives of so many, so in reflection I ended up painting –
A butterfly is a lovely symbol of the soul and transformation, like the ripple in the ocean, they may be small in the grand scheme of things but they are mighty insects that migrate tremendous distances in their short life spans.
As touched on in this brilliant TED talk I feel that one of Mandela’s greatest achievements was his own very personal transformation which took place while in jail. Holding steadfast to his values he underwent a long introspective process of the interior self, which enabled him to internalise the values he stood for externally, so they became the walking undeniable fabric of his being – unusually freed from the fears and tremors of the ego power play we see many leaders struggle with today. This gave him true resiliency in the worst of times, and profound widespread respect for his unfaltering lead by example. An example of how one person’s actions can make an enormous difference.
As my human rights professor told me once – “live by your dreams”
Don’t slave for them in some distant future on palm-tree lined shimmering shores but try to embody your values, all that you love and hold dear now, each and every moment.