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Free yourself, Free others, Serve every day – Mandela’s 3 rules

Published:Friday | July 17, 2015 | 12:00 AMJodi-Ann Gilpin
Nelson Mandela
Nelson Mandela
Nelson Mandela in the early 1960s

Whether it's giving 67 minutes of your time to serve the nation's children, launching an education campaign to uphold the rights of individuals, or just reflecting on his life and work over the years, persons are being encouraged to do whatever they can to celebrate Nelson Mandela Day, which is being observed today globally.

That encouragement came from the South African High Commission in Jamaica, which is advising that as part of this year's celebration, there will be a renewed focus on children, specifically those from the Middleton Primary and Lyssons Basic schools, both located in St Thomas.

"While the South African High Commission will this year again be focusing on children. There are few constraints on how individuals and institutions may contribute. People and organisations are free to organise and partner as they wish provided that their activities fall within the ethical framework of 'service to one's fellow human'."

The statement continued, "Mandela Day is dynamic and ever-changing. It belongs to everyone and can take place anywhere, at any time. Everyone is encouraged to find inspiration for their contribution in the legacy of Nelson Mandela and to serve their fellow humans every day. The commission encourages persons to serve and drive the movement towards the common good and ultimately attain social cohesion. People everywhere are encouraged to contribute their actions to making the world a better place by each becoming a public servant in service to humanity," the commission added.




The South African High Commission further indicated that Mandela's dedication to service has led to the transformation of many lives.

"It is more than a celebration of Madiba's life and legacy. It is a global movement to honour his life's work and to act to change the world for the better," said the commission.

"Nelson Mandela followed three rules throughout his life, which he did at great personal sacrifice: Free yourself, free others, and serve every day."

The statement added, "It is, therefore, fitting that Mandela Day is a global call to action for citizens of the world to take up the challenge and follow in the formidable footsteps of Madiba, a man who transformed his life, served his country, and freed his people."

Nelson, whose birth name was Rolihlahla Mandela, was born in Mvezo, a village near Mthatha in the Transkei, South Africa, on July 18, 1918, to Nonqaphi Nosekeni and Henry Mgadla Mandela. Rolihlahla literally means "pulling the branch of a tree".

Mandela, who died on December 5, 2013, at the age of 95, was one of the most celebrated and respected statesmen in the world. He was renowned for his lifelong fight against apartheid in his homeland South Africa and his defence of democracy and justice for all.