Dancing with Gratitude for Nelson Mandela

Thank you Nelson Mandela for making such a profound difference in our world. Our hearts are heavy because you’re gone, but we’re also dancing weightlessly, filled with gratitude because you were born.

Photo of Nelson MandelaWatching the news last night, tears streaming down my face – a wine glass in one hand, a tissue in the other – I marveled at the dizzying affect Nelson Mandela had on my life, simply because he represented, unequivocally, that anything is possible…and that one person can make a difference with enough courage and conviction.

No one person has ever inspired me more.

Photo of Nelson Mandela and Coretta Scott King celebrating Mandela's win in 1994

“No one is born hating another person because of the colour of his skin or his background, or his religion. People must learn to hate and if they learn to hate they can be taught to love. Love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite.”


“Hope is a powerful weapon, and [one] no one power on earth can deprive you of.”


“I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.”


“The greatest glory in living lies not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall.”


“Let your greatness bloom.”


As we mourn the loss of Nelson Mandela, let us celebrate this extraordinary human being by trying to plant one seed of “individual greatness” in this world – whatever that may be – and “Let our greatness bloom.” Can you imagine how much brighter our world would look if we all added just one beautiful blossom in his honor?

Thank you, Madiba

Nelson Mandela

•   •   •

Here are several other posts I also wrote about my hero, Nelson Mandela: one on his recent 95th birthday (click on the link to view it) and another the previous, and also one I wrote chronicling the days leading up to his election as South Africa’s first black president (as recounted by my hubs, Jeffrey Aaronson, who was there photographing that historic event). Click HERE to feel what it was like to be on the frontline of history.

7 thoughts on “Dancing with Gratitude for Nelson Mandela

  1. What a beautiful tribute to the great man. Madiba was a real inspiration for everyone; and his words are going to inspire generations to follow. Thanks for this great post, Becky!!

  2. What a wonderful, spot on tribute to such an incredible man. Your words help lend a voice to what we’re all feeling right now. I’m honored to have lived during his time.

    • Thank you, Deborah. No words could ever equal his extraordinary life or moral courage, but somehow it always feels right to try to share my gratitude about Nelson Mandela.

  3. Becky,
    What a powerful blog. Thank you for sharing your thoughts and feelings about this great, great man.
    Beautiful photos by Jeffrey, it just doesn’t get any better than that!

    • Thank you, Ann. He was an extraordinary human being who made a huge impression on me (and millions of others). We are so fortunate to have been alive during his lifetime to witness his greatness.

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