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    Posted December 6, 2013 by
    Cary, North Carolina
    This iReport is part of an assignment:
    Nelson Mandela: Your memories

    ljohnsonTru and 14 other iReporters contributed to Open Story: Remembering Nelson Mandela
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    The world lost one of its greatest leaders, inspirations and role models yesterday. Nelson Mandela, known by many as Madiba, passed away yesterday at the age of 95. The former South African president and legendary leader will never be forgotten.

    I never met Mandela but I, like many, felt like I knew him. To me, the life that he lived was a shining example of greatness for us all to follow. He was not perfect, but that did not stop him from seeking perfection. He showcased a host of great humanitarian attributes that I aspire to apply to my life daily.

    The greatest among those aspirational attributes that most influenced me was his ability to love, lead and forgive.

    If I were to identify a human case study to support the principle of sowing and reaping, it would be Mandela. He was so widely and greatly loved by people all over the world that never even met him. I believe he reaped so much love, because that’s what he sowed throughout the world.

    His leadership style exemplified greatness in every way. He taught me that leadership was about service to others. He exemplified the humility of a servant balanced with the courage of his convictions. Mandela taught me that our “why” has to be bigger than ourselves. He also taught me that we have to stay true to our beliefs and that although progress is not always evident, that doesn’t mean it’s not taking place.

    The power of forgiveness may be the most valuable lesson that I learned from Mandela. To me, his ability to forgive the very people that sentenced him to 27 years in prison was the final and necessary step of the many steps of his journey that led to the healing and reconciliation of an entire nation.

    We will miss you Madiba. Thank you for your life, your lessons and your legacy.

    Rest In Peace!

    “I have walked that long road to freedom. I have tried not to falter; I have made missteps along the way. But I have discovered the secret that after climbing a great hill, one only finds that there are many more hills to climb. I have taken a moment here to rest, to steal a view of the glorious vista that surrounds me, to look back on the distance I have come. But I can only rest for a moment, for with freedom come responsibilities, and I dare not linger, for my long walk is not ended.” ― Nelson Mandela

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