Free Nelson Mandela
Free Nelson Mandela
I’m beggin’ you
That great song by The Specials got a lot of us dancing, made us aware of one of the greatest heroes of our time, and got many of us involved to whatever extent in a powerful world-wide social movement.
Nelson Mandela was actually in prison for 27 years for trying peacefully to end apartheid in South Africa. He was jailed in 1963 ~ the year before I was born ~ and released when I was 26 years old. My God. And there was so much oppression, injustice, killing. Was he angry or vengeful, as he went on to lead his country to democracy and become its first Black President? Not a bit of it. He, like my other great heroes, Martin Luther King Jr, Mahatma Gandhi, the Dalai Lama, spoke only of non-violent resistance, of peaceful sharing, of truth and reconciliation.
Tonight ~ Thursday, December 5th, 2013 ~ Nelson Mandela died at age 95. End of an era.
The CBC radio announcer who informed me of the world’s great loss said that we would all remember where we were when we heard the news of his passing. I was at home in the evening after the vet assuring me that my little budgie Sunshine was going to be just fine. The night before I was commenting to a friend how I was teetering on the edge of fear and excitement, having just found out that I was probably soon to be laid off from my job of 13 years. Time to wake up, get out there and do something meaningful. Enough of this bureaucratic comfort, this security, these paid vacations. End of an era.
I heard the news of Mandela’s passing, and I put on Free Nelson Mandela and danced. I played Eric Bogel’s Singing the Spirit Home and cried. I found the Soweto Gospel Choir’s version of Shosholoza on iTunes and sang my heart out and danced some more.
I also gave a scheduled distance Reiki treatment to a coonhound named Poncho. We have been doing this regularly since meeting for an in-person treatment a couple of weeks ago. We always connect easily in the shining, healing energy that is Reiki. This time, when I opened my heart wide and reached out with Reiki energy to find him, I connected to him and to the hearts of almost every other human being on the planet. United in grief, yes, at the passing of such a great being from our presence, but the overwhelming emotion swirling around the world tonight is love. Love for him, and for each other for loving him.
Nelson Mandela united much of the world to work for peace and freedom. At the time I saw what he was doing as political activism, of the highest order to be sure, but not as a spiritual act. Now I see that getting people to feel and express emotional, intellectual and political solidarity with each other is the ultimate spiritual act. I believe it's called Oneness.
And now he’s done it again, but even bigger, even more important. Even more spiritual. He has united humanity at the heart. We have a great opportunity. We can take this connection we are feeling right now and turn the world in a positive direction, working together for the good of all, in goodwill and co-operation. In peace and love. End of an era.
Current South African President Jacob Zuma, in making the official announcement of Nelson Mandela’s passing, said that, “We saw in him what we seek in ourselves.” Strength and determination, moral courage, humility and forgiveness, love.
Let’s keep our hearts beating together, as they are tonight in honour of this great being we were so privileged to share our time on the planet with.