Wednesday, 26 June 2013

The Good Mr. Mandela

One of the most beloved names of modern history is Nelson Mandela. Once a stalwart of the fight against apartheid in postwar South Africa, he has spent more years in prison than I have yet spent living.

He took history by the hand and led it to a better place. Mr. Mandela is now an old man of ninety-four and he is very ill.

As he lies in care, thousands of South Africans crowd around the Pretoria hospital expressing adoration and saying prayers. Behind them the media speculates nervously. An entire planet waits, nervously checking for news periodically, silently wishing the good Mr. Mandela well.

And yet - friends of mine are already saying to each other that 'we should let him go with dignity'. A somewhat controversial cartoon published recently suggests the same. Personally, I'll keep my fingers crossed for him until the last. And when today's BBC commentary features the sub-heading 'Burial Row', I wonder again if this sort of speculation counts as treating the great man 'with dignity'?

For now the world waits. Perhaps, not sure how to respond, some of us are starting to say insensitive things or look for a 'new angle' to report or comment on.

Mr. Mandela is an old man and he is very ill. While that is the state of things, let's not feel compelled to speculate - or for that matter do anything more than wish the good man well.

No comments:

Post a Comment