July is dedicated to celebration and commemoration of freedom and independence. Globally we celebrate Canada Day, American Independence Day and Bastille Day. In South Africa, we also aptly celebrate our Former President Nelson Mandela with Mandela Day. A highly appropriate celebration in our beautifully diverse country.
Mandela Day beautifully encapsulates the legacy of Madiba. Each person contributes to the social and economic security for all South Africans, by living the values that Mandela personified. Everyone working together to ensure that everyone in our nation has their human dignity upheld with equality and freedom for all.
The beauty of Mandela is that to reach this reality all we need to is start with small actions, a mere minute for every year that Mandela advocated for human rights. As each person acts, we fuel the momentum toward positive change, raising awareness and expanding the reach of Former President Mandela’s values and beliefs. Allowing us to fight injustice, help people in need and practice reconciliation.
I would like to challenge everyone to consider participating in Nelson Mandela day this year. It need not be a dramatic event. I believe even contributing something small such as simply saying a short prayer for our country and its people will help us move in the right direction. For those that are more inspired but are not as clear on how they could act on this inspiration I have taken a few ideas from www.mandeladay.com that I hope will encourage you to action:
- Mow the lawn or wash the windows for someone that struggles to do so such as someone in an old age home
- Pick up groceries and or medicine for an elderly citizen
- Go for a walk with an elderly citizen in your community
- Teach someone how to use a computer, cellphone or internet
- Donate magazines/books to an under-resourced old age home or school
- Knit a blanket for someone in need
- Offer to walk a dog at your local animal shelter
- Donate Blood or become an organ donor
- Tutor someone who needs help with learning your native tongue.
If any of the suggestions involving old age homes appeal to you, please reach out to our social worker to see where your assistance can be used.
I will close of this month’s article with a quote by Steve Maraboli:
“A kind gesture can reach a wound that only compassion can heal”