Monday, June 17, 2013

Who Will Give Us Hope?

I recently wrote a post on the ailing Nelson Mandela and why he is so important a world figure. Last Friday Gerald Caplan wrote a piece in the Globe entitled The world will be poorer without Nelson Mandela. I hope you will take the time to read his thoughts on the importance of this iconic figure, a man of whom I think it would be appropriate to borrow Hamlet's tribute to his father and say, I shall not look upon his like again.

Caplan's last paragraph, which I am reproducing below for your consideration, sums up for me both the hope Mandela inspires and the despair over the realization that it is unlikely someone of his singular moral force will ever again grace our fractured landscapes:

I suppose it’s too much to hope there can ever be another Mandela. But could we not come just a little bit closer? Is there not one prepared to dedicate her or his life to the eternal struggle for social justice and equality? Is it too much to ask whether some, or even a few, or maybe just one, of today’s leaders might not look at this man and wonder what could be learned from his singular life? Or maybe the truth is that, revere him as we do, we won’t really know how much we have lost until we have to face the world without him.


  1. I read the autobiography of Nelson Mandela. He was a successful lawyer but he gave it all up to fight apartheid. 27 years in jail and hard labour did not discourage this man.

    I pray for his health. World has never seen such a leader.

    1. He has been an inspiration, LeDaro, to countless millions who believe in the possibility of a better world. I can think of no one else that I feel such reverence for.

  2. Where are the people of courage and vision, people guided by a resolute sense of decency and compassion?

    Mandela has been such a strong man, too strong to be broken no matter how hard his oppressors tried. Dick Cheney, who rebuked Mandela as a "terrorist" is an example of another type of strong man, the type too common in today's world.

  3. It is indeed a shame that the Cheneys of the world are so very common, Mound, and the Mandelas so very rare.