<500 words to honor our Elder, Nelson Mandela
This week I had the distinctly privileged new millennium opportunity to sit in a microbrewery with a web design specialist. “Websites are, at best, for linking good minds in support of human community and the planet we humans share.” I knew I liked her. Somewhere in the mix I asked about blog length (you who follow EX:Change know mine can be lloonngg). She said, “Max 500 words.” I was impressed. I’m giving it a try.
My subject is one that may never be fully described with words. Maybe none can, but the global outpouring in response to the death and precious lifetime of Nelson Mandela is certainly evidence of both the desire to speak and its inevitable inadequacy.
Here, and in honor of this man who will never cease teaching, I use the words I can find to reflect some of what Mandela’s life teaches me.
- There are never words to suffice, but try to speak your inviolable brilliance with the best clarity you can muster.
- Always show up.
- Attend to what has heart and meaning.
- Dare to get over yourself (use your ego, but do not get trapped in being it).
- Live your truth.
- Be humble enough to know that your best truth will do two things. It will remain constant and it will change over time.
- Laugh (with and not at).
- Listen again.
- Love knowing that love requires the same humility as truth.
- Lead with the health and integrity of all people as your only goal.
- Give up expectations that everyone will see things your way.
- Be open to persuasion (see truth and love above).
- Allow yourself to be noble.
- Generosity is possible in every circumstance.
- So are gratitude, creativity, perseverance and wisdom.
- Be of service.
- Take every next step – even when you are afraid.
- Courage is among your birthrights. See the courage in showing up every day to your life. You’ve done it since you were born but haven’t really noticed.
- Cruelty solves nothing.
- Every person you meet is a teacher.
- See each one.
- Refuse to allow compromise to the rights of any one.
- Spread joy.
- Be clear – firm when necessary.
- Be fully human.
- Nothing can take away your beauty – your value.
- Take good care of each other.