A quote from the recently passed away Nelson Mandela
“No one is born hating another person because of the colour of their skin, or their background, or their religion. People must learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love, for love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite.”
Nelson Mandela gives me hope, hope that the world can be a different place, that love really can make a difference, that we have the power to choose how we react to the most difficult of circumstances – and people.
I remember being affected when I first really became aware of South African issues. I knew the world was an unfair place, but discovering this more, at certain times, made me deeply sad about how humans oppressed humans because of differences – either differences that people were born with or that develop as we grow.
I am also aware that the world is an unfair face because of doing youth work, schools work and foster care for so long, however the Nelson Mandela quote I used above resonates deeply within me and spurs me on to keep working with young people, to teach them that we can live a different way, to build real and loving and accepting communities.
I believe we are doing well with this in school, but we always have more to learn and then live out. Mandela also said “There can be no keener revelation of a society’s soul than the way in which it treats its children” and it feels at the moment, across the globe, that we are not taking that comment to heart. The figures on poverty, health and well-being for children in the UK, let alone the wider world, mean that we have much to do.
And we can do it – and the time is now; Madiba also said “We must use time wisely and forever realise that the time is always ripe to do right.” Hopefully the legacy of Nelson Mandela’s death will be a greater determination to do right, to forgive, to reconcile, to try and ensure that each person has the freedom to become all that they might be.
I thank God for Nelson Mandela and the difference he made to me and the world, may his flame live on eternally in this world and the next.
And not least at this time of year, I thank God for sending his son Jesus and the difference he made to me and the world – and I celebrate His flame living on eternally in this world and the next.
I opened a Christmas card from the Diocesan Education Team last week and I the words written on the front were:-
‘May the Christ Child who came to save our broken world help us to unite heaven and earth through our care for each other, our prayers for peace and our love of God. God grant His blessing this Christmas. Amen.’
May we keep on keeping on all week and then have a wonderful break.
The Prayer attached to our TFTW image is:-