President Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela, as an individual, represents the resounding strength of the human spirit.
He was born of royal linage, and educationally, politically and socially, he lived in loyalty to the royalty within him. But, to speak of President Mandela as an individual misses the point of his importance to history.
President Mandela’s international impact has to do with his role as one of the millions of oppressed South Africans united in the struggle for liberation. He lived in solidarity with his people and in dedication to a vision far larger than himself.
Mr. Mandela’s release from Robben Island and subsequent election as president was a tribute to his inextricable connection to the masses. His life experience must serve as a catechism for those who advocate for political and economic change.
“Alone, we go fast, but together, we go far.” Mandela’s reminds us to “Walk together children...”
Bishop James B. Walker, Ninth Episcopal District, Christian Methodist Episcopal Church