THE EDITOR, Sir:
To genuinely earn the adoration of fellow human beings in life and death is not a level that many are elevated to. To devote your life wholeheartedly to the betterment of the human cause with no regard of danger to self is not an attribute carried by many humans. Mandela took on the Establishment and became the face for the downtrodden black majority of his country. His actions and those of countless others were mirrors in which the world could see the horrible reflections of apartheid and its human cost.
To free his people and enlighten the world, Mandela first had to be alive and then be locked away for 27 years breaking rocks under the cruel African sun, but the longer he was locked away the more the world saw the light his incarceration shone on the racial injustices that were rampant in South Africa. That light galvanised the movement across the world and became so blinding that it burned away apartheid and showed that in the end the good in humanity will always prevail.
We go through life searching, asking and wondering what is our purpose, why where we born, what are we supposed to accomplish by our presence on the planet. Mandela was one of the few men who realised his full purpose. He could be likened to a modern-day Moses, who was to lead his people to a better time where black South Africans can enjoy the land of their forefathers with equal rights for all.
If the quality of our lives is measured by the good we do, the people we touch and the influences we leave behind, then Mandela had the ultimate life, one that those of us left behind must try to emulate.
So thank you, Madiba, for all you did, and most of all, thank you for realising your purpose in life so that we can all be better human beings.