Fetalvero: The fertilizer of the soul-A A +A
Two empty bottles
Wednesday, December 18, 2013
WHAT could an honorable man have done in 27 years? So much could have been achieved. It certainly could have benefited the entire continent of Africa had Nelson Mandela been allowed what he wished to do in the name of justice and respect for human dignity.
It took almost a century before 90 national leaders who attended Mandela’s memorial mass fully recognized his contribution to mankind as an ambassador of peace and goodwill.
It must have been the ghost of Mandela that prevented a possible head-on collision and brought peace: the communist Cuban leader and the president of the United States could not avoid shaking hands.
What struck me was the commentary of a CNN reporter, saying that the general sentiment of the population is that even with the death of the former African president, considered by many as a real statesman and a great leader, his fellow Africans do not think that a change will take effect in the near future. Mandela, a brilliant lawyer, spent his entire career defending the poor and the oppressed.
The lack of clean water, hospitals and schools remain constant concerns in Africa.
Women in some parts of Africa have to walk 10 miles to fetch water. It is becoming increasingly difficult to bridge the gap between the moneyed and the destitute, and the irony of it all is that the country is rich in natural resources: diamonds, gold and copper abound.
In juxtaposition with Mandela, the sacrifices made by Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King claimed their lives in the end. Mandela, unlike the duo mentioned, did not die from an assassin’s bullet.
The Holy Scripture invites us to “plant a seed.” The devout Methodist surely has planted the virtue of patience. We may not live to see the day when corruption will be fully eradicated in the continent, but Mandela’s exemplary act of forgiving may have fertilized the soil to effect change since there are more and more Africans who are now aware of their rights as citizens.
It will take a while to fill the two empty bottles of the Africans, but the legacy of Mandela has already filled the hearts of those whose lives he touched.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on December 19, 2013.