Nelson Mandela’s life and contribution exemplify the ideal of leading by example
which is Bastow Institute’s motto – Ducere Exemplo.
Emerging from 27 years of incarceration, Nelson could have been embittered and full of revenge, but he emerged saying, “As I walked out the door toward the gate that would lead to my freedom, I knew if I didn't leave my bitterness and hatred behind, I'd still be in prison.”
His love, forgiveness, courage and reconciliation could be seen through his actions. In the words of his friend and fellow campaigner for justice, truth and hope Archbishop Desmond Tutu, reflected that:
“People cared about Nelson Mandela, loved him, because of his courage, convictions and care of others’. He set aside the bitterness of enduring 27 years in apartheid prisons – and the weight of centuries of colonial division, subjugation and repression – to personify the spirit and practice of Ubuntu. He perfectly understood that people are dependent on other people in order for individuals and society to prosper.”
As leaders in education Nelson Mandela provides an example for our leadership for transformation. He acutely understood the importance of education in shaping the new South Africa, liberating its people and giving them hope. In his words, “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.”
Nelson Mandela’s long walk to freedom exemplified the spirit of this season – joy, peace, hope and love. Every day is an opportunity in which we can do the same, in our families, places of work and learning, and in our communities.