Nelson Mandela is a man I admired greatly and consider to be one of the great peace leaders of our time. He lived with dignity and treated others with respect. I think that is a high tribute for any person. He was a true human being, in the fullest sense of being human. He did his part to leave the world a better place than the world of racism and apartheid into which he was born. When he came out of prison after 27 years and had the chance for vengeance, he chose kindness and nonviolence. When he became president of his country, he was the president of all the people of South Africa.
To celebrate the life of Nelson Mandela is to recognize that individuals can make a difference in our world, despite hardships and the seeming impossibility of creating change. He lived with courage, compassion and commitment, and he did lead the way to changing the world for the better. He was not perfect, but he brought beauty to the world and showed us a glimpse of what we are all capable of being by living with high ideals and decency. Few will accomplish what he did in his lifetime, but his was a life that should be inspiring and hopeful to us all.