Mandela Day

“No one is born hating another person because of the color of his skin, or his background, or his religion. People must learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love, for love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite.”
— Nelson Mandela (Long Walk to Freedom: The Autobiography of Nelson Mandela)

Happy birthday, Nelson Mandela! 

I read a blog post recently about Mandela Day. Immediately my eyes widened. Mandela? Nelson Mandela’s 93rd birthday was yesterday. “In November 2009, the UN General Assembly declared 18 July “Nelson Mandela International Day” in recognition of the former South African President’s contribution to the culture of peace and freedom.” I love Nelson Mandela and he has inspired me greatly in the past few years. I have a huge interest in the continent of Africa. I have studied it’s geography every chance I get. I am beyond embarrassed to admit that up until 5 years ago I had no clue who this man was. I was absent that day. =) Now, that I do know who this courageous man is I would give anything to meet him. This morning I was at a workshop and in our groups we were asked to discuss what major figure we would like to invite to sit with us. It could be anyone dead or alive from the past or present. The first words out of my mouth were Nelson Mandela. Others said Thomas Jefferson and Martin Luther. Who would you choose?

On Mandela Day people of the world are challenged to take 67 minutes out of our day to help others in some way. Click here for ways you can take action and inspire change.  It could be as simple as making a new friend from a different culture or donating old clothes to the Salvation Army. Perhaps we don’t have to do it on July 18th seeing as it has passed but if we make an effort to do something for others during the year than the world will be a better place.

African and other global inspirations about saving the world:

1. Acumen Fund: Jacqueline Novagratz is an amazing woman who takes on the challenge of trying to end poverty with her organization.

2. NOVICA: Artists from all corners of the world sell their gorgeous art. Learn about their stories.

3. TOMS: The one for one campaign is genius. Help put shoes on a child’s feet. Give and gain!

4. Long Walk to Freedom by Nelson Mandela

5. The Blue Sweater by Jacqueline Novagratz: Read the amazing story about how Jacqueline Novagratz became inspired to help Africa. She is one strong woman!

6. Playing for Change: Changing the world through music. I love this organization.

Lesson Learned: Mandela Day is Nelson Mandela’s birthday, July 18th, and a day declared by the UN to promote peace around the world in honor of this courageous man’s contributions to a culture of peace and unity. We can all make a difference. Nelson Mandela’s story gives me hope.

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3 thoughts on “Mandela Day

  1. It’s okay, I didn’t know who Mandela was until I was 20! I feel it is also up to us to educate our descendants about the brave (and not so brave) and interesting people around the world and not just the VIPs of western culture. GO TEACHERS GO! (Furthermore, I would like to point out that teachers are not just in our schools, but in our homes. Yes parents, that means you too!)

  2. Well I have known about Nelson Mandela for awhile, having taken part in anti-apartheid marches in the eighties but I did not know that there was a Nelson Mandela Day. Thanks for spreading the word! I saw Nelson Mandela speak here in Toronto when as a parent, I accompanied my son’s class to a large, children-focused event he spoke at.

    I’ve also read his autobiography, Long Walk to Freedom. What a man.

    Lynn

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