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Tribute to Mandela... By Tassawar

11 December, 2013

"When the water starts boiling it is foolish to turn off the heat," were wise words once spoken by Nelson Mandela. Madiba, as he was known, was all about positive change. He was, of course, unique in his capacity of increasing the heat to boil very hot water. As a result, he cooked a very different, much improved, hugely better world. He did this in a way that exuded love and the world loved him back. Local, national and international development is all about change positive change on some big issues such as poverty, health, inclusive and accountable government, rights, the environment and so much more. Perhaps one way to celebrate the life and achievements of Mandela is for all of us involved in the development process to take some time out to reflect on the principles and strategies that drive our work, be that local action, big funding decisions or any other work along that horizontal continuum.

It is impossible to read what Mandela wrote or listen to him talk without hearing the expressions of key values such as freedom, justice, love, peace, hope, generosity, courage, forgiveness, tolerance, respect, caring, acceptance and compassion. He was against hatred, despair, discrimination and bitterness. "If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head. If you talk to him in his language, that goes to his heart," were very famous words spoken by the great man. May his soul rest in peace.


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