On 18 July 2010, Nelson Mandela – the champion for human rights, dignity, and freedom made heavy the shoulders of us – the next generation with the responsibility of creating a better world –a world of inclusivity, indivisibility, and tolerance. A year before Nelson Mandela International Day was ratified in 2009 via the general assembly of the United Nations, Madiba in his speech had addressed the youth – the future of tomorrow, saying: “It is in your hands now”.
So, July 18 : the birthday of the first democratically elected president of South Africa, who struggled hard to free the country from the clutches of the evil of apartheid is celebrated every year not only in honor of his life and his values of respect for equality of life, bravery, modesty, truthfulness and hopefulness but also to play our part in working towards making the world a better place.
“Nelson Mandela has fought for social justice for 67 years. We are asking you to start with 67 minutes.”
It is a day to follow his footprints and build on his legacy by not only fighting against the evils of inequality and injustice but also working towards creating a community, a nation and a world where peoples of all races, religions, castes, creeds, genders, colour get equal opportunities to flourish and to blossom like the full-blown flowers of the spring. The thought that this idea is too ideal to be achieved has already been proved wrong by the server of humanity. Now its time that we do our little bit at least on this day if not on all.
Small actions done by each one of us count up to produce large results. It’s our time to prove that actions are larger than words. Everything counts – interacting with a new person in a new town to make him feel home, reading out a book to an illiterate or a blind, spending some time with the neglected and the ignored, cleaning a park nearby, giving a warm blanket to someone shivering in cold, providing food to a person who is hungry, offering your care to the sick.
After all, as Nelson Mandela said, “There can be no greater gift than that of giving one’s time and energy to help others without expecting anything in return.”