Monday, 11 February 2013
Today marks exactly 23 years Nelson Mandela was released from prison after 27 years of incarceration. Everyone has a favourite leader. Whether you look back on your life experience(s) with pleasure or with pain, there will be one particular person who stands out as a beacon in a stormy sea. Madiba, as he was fondly named by his Xhosa clan and is respectfully called by many, is my favourite leader in the world. Of all the people I have met through books Madiba stands out as someone I most certainly want to emulate. He appeals to me because he embodies what I strive to become. He is an influential man from a small village in South Africa, who has had and continues to have direct positive effect on people. You do not need to be around him before you witness his endearing aura. His strongly desirous and autobiographical work, Long Walk to Freedom, written by him and published in 1995 by Little Brown and Co., was my source of inspiration during my days at graduate school in England.
There is no better way to describe Madiba. For me, he is the greatest man of my time. He is widely respected around the globe for his selfless service to humanity. His outstanding leadership role (most remarkably his role in ending apartheid in South Africa and his advocacy for human rights) leaves a stamp that cannot be expunged in history. No generation that will cross this planet called earth will forget that such a man ever lived. One of the greatest things about Madiba that inspires me is that his human nature extends to the core of man's essence on earth and his loving heart for the poor and destitute is exceptional. He never fails to extend his heartfelt wishes to the entire humanity in respective of race, religion, and sexual orientation.
Madiba is the most enthusiastic, genuine, hardworking, and amazing leader I have had the pleasure to read about. He has lived a long life, and will continue to live. He has achieved the greatest of wishes every human being would wish for. The standard he has set before mankind will require a genius extraordinaire to equal. His life is such a quintessence that there is nothing that is impossible and no height that is unattainable. Madiba in his leadership has shown us the true meaning of leadership- service to humanity. In his service to humanity he has shown us the true way to love and peace. Each time I read about Madiba, I feel this sense of satisfaction that I have got all the inspiration that I need. But the question is what makes Madiba stand out from the rest? Or what makes him so wonderful to me that I always adore his personality? There are many qualities this man possesses that are indescribable. Madiba is like a leopard; a leopard has many spots that one cannot count. These qualities are encompassing. They are like beauty in the sense of beauty lying in the eyes of the beholder. You can only attempt to describe him in your own way based on your wee understanding of him; he is more than an encyclopedia.
God Bless Madiba; Long Live Madiba!!
Sunday, 10 February 2013
You're welcome to CHUMA's blog: Reflection on today’s Gospel 12: There is nothing much really to speak about in today’s reading in the Gospel, Luke 5:1-11 . Similar to reflection 10 , today’s gospel bo...
There is nothing much really to speak about in today’s reading in the Gospel, Luke 5:1-11. Similar to reflection 10, today’s gospel borders on faith and in the same vein ‘it is a call for us to reconsider the level of our faith in God.’ We are offered today a reflective episode between Jesus and Simon Peter. Though that might look like something we could simply do ourselves, but when the ugly reality of life falls upon us we may not be that strong enough to stand up to it. When the splashy waters of the world’s squalliest ocean pricked on us like thorns, we would only try as hard as we could to swim against the thorny tide, while we hope to fish the good news of a Gospel’s message that brings to us rewarding answers. But it is only then, inevitably, we will realize that it is only the faith in God’s word is all that we need to swim through all the tides, not our self-righteousness.
When Jesus said to Peter, “put out into deep water and lower your nets for a catch,” he (Peter) responded “Master, we have worked hard all night and have caught nothing, but at your command I will lower the nets.” Peter’s response- ‘but at your command I will lower the nets’- can be likened to Mary’s instruction to Christ’s disciples during the wedding at Cana- ‘do whatever he tells you,’ and both statements have relative undertone of faith.
Even though Peter was full of imperfections, like us, God chose him and he had faith in God’s words. Peter knows and accepts the fact that the product of God’s missionary work does not belong to him, but rather belongs to the recipients' of God’s message, which are all of us. As Jesus told the Apostles that they would no longer be fishermen but fishers of men, he is telling us today the same. He is the fisherman; the good disciple is the net (you and me) that catches the fish; and this net works if it is used as Peter and other Apostles did- abandoning their various occupations and following him. Saint Ireneus of Lyon rightly said that, “he who is conscious of his sinful nature is also able to recognize his condition of creature, and this recognition places us before the clear evidence of a Creator that transcend us.” Only when we boldly accomplish our Lord’s wish when our situation turns out otherwise that we will be able to appreciate better God’s purpose for us.