This year as Mandela Day is upon us, South Africans and millions of people around the world remember and celebrate a legendary man that overcame his circumstances to lead our country into democracy. In addition, he also became a world renowned hero who was held in the highest esteem. Nelson Mandela was imprisoned for 27 years and I always wonder how in those 27 years, he continued to have unparalleled hope for his future and that of the nation. Hope is something that is so easily destroyed by words and actions, not in keeping with our desires and it takes an incredibly strong individual to see beyond what may seem like a completely dismal situation. When we are faced with adversity its perfectly normal to wallow and feel like there is no way we could possibly exit what may be happening.
However, when I look back at people like Nelson Mandela for example, I always wonder what I would have done if I was in that situation. Would I have been able to stand up and fight for what I believed in despite the atrocities that were coming my way? Would I have been able to keep my chin up and never lose hope? Would I have been able to maintain my strength and tenacity to hold my head up high? Right now I can say maybe…but if I rewind back to 20 years ago, it would probably have been definitely not!
The point is that our personal inner strength does not necessarily come to the fore when we might want it to, but it’s always there. And when we start recognising that we can tap into it when we need to, that’s when the change we want to see in our lives starts to unfold. We all don’t have to try to exceed Nelson Mandela’s ability to overcome any situation, but we can try to overcome our personal circumstances despite the odds being against us. We can try to slowly pick up the pieces of our lives and move on from our brokenness. We can try to be great examples of strength for our children and emulate people we want them to possess qualities from. As we remember a great man for the good that he personified, lets try to be better and stronger, since nobody knows the inner strength you possess better than you do 👊