Monday, July 19, 2010

Being Nice.

Yesterday the nation, no - the world, celebrated Nelson Mandela's 92nd birthday. The man has become an international icon and deeply deserves the respect and affection that is poured out over him. His ability to extend grace is legendary and grace is a very rare commodity these days. His idea of asking people to celebrate his birthday by performing acts of kindness to the needy was brilliant. In this land, that has been distorted emotionally in so many ways, it might have come as a culture shock to some though. An ethos of entitlement does not usually embrace that attitude. With such an emphasis on human rights as we have here, the attitude is usually: "Me first, me last and me in the middle. And to blazers with anyone else." But such is the stature of the man that people bought into it with gusto - not just here, but also internationally. And I believe we liked ourselves when we "were nice" to each other during the World Cup. We liked being liked by the outside world, and we liked the feeling of "being good" and wanted to find a way to make it last. I do hope that the "feel good" factor involved with the Good Samaritaning of yesterday will lay hold of hearts and something more lasting will emerge. While I extend my own fervent respects and congratulations to Madiba, I think it needs to be said that One far greater spoke of these things more than two millenia ago. And the grace He extended and extends yet, surpasses anything known.

10 comments:

Stefanie said...

I love your new header, great perspective.
We saw a lots of motorcycles and cars hooting etc through CT yesterday to honour him. Didn't know what it was at the time though...typically me.
Great post.

Trix's Mix said...

Mr Mandella just wants us all to live well-balanced lives! I wonder how many people have been stretched by his example and ideas through the years. What a man he is - can you imagine how the epitah on his tombstone will read one day!

allie said...

@ Stef - Ja, I lovethat pic too. Not mine own, I borrowed it. :-)
Gee you were lucky to see all that excitement in Town. Morgan Freeman and all.

@ Theresa - Ah yes! If only we could just all do that! But we can't, no matter how we might mean to - thats why we need the Rescuer!

I think most people are content with just admiring him. But I hope that I'm wrong: I hope that this surge of goodwill and unity we've had a taste of will be a launching pad for new days ahead.

But will Malema stay silent long enough for it to take hold?!

Lynette said...

What a great man he is!

Hope the goodwill continues for more than just a day...at the Mission we daily need hands and help.

allie said...

@ Lynette - did you get any extra hands there yesterday?

Joanne said...

Thanks for that reminder - the last bit of your post :)

Terry said...

Well said Allie! :)

Kirsty said...

Lovely post!
So - what did you do for your 67 minutes???
We picked up litter from the streets, under instruction from our 6 yr old!

Lynette said...

Nope...not a single one!

After reading Kirsty's comment...may I add as we do this kind of work permanently...we did nothing yesterday;-D

allie said...

Jo - you know me - always more than ready to "go there" :-)

Lynette - you guys do a fantastic job! I guess noone really knows what it takes.

Thanks Terry!

Kirsty - Shot for your 6 year old! She obviously keeps you on your toes :-)