Posts Tagged ‘Nelson Mandela’

Nelson Mandela Day 2010

What are you doing Sunday? July 18 is Nelson Mandela Day, and was declared so in 2009 by the United Nations. Madiba (Mandela’s Xhosa clan name and a term of endearment) celebrated his 90th birthday in 2008, and the worldwide recognition and embrace of his message of peace and service was focused on London. Last year, New York hosted the main Mandela Day events, and this year, it is in World Cup champion nation, Spain—Madrid to be exact.

No matter where you are, July 18 is a chance for the world to engage and jump in to service and demonstrating a commitment to everyone else with whom we share the planet. Start a new volunteer commitment this weekend, make a call to find out how to donate your time or money or used items, reach out to the people around you.

The Mandela Day website describes the celebration like this (emphasis mine):

• Mandela Day is an annual celebration of Nelson Mandela’s life and a global call to action for people to recognize their individual ability to make an imprint and change the world around them.

• Mandela Day has been created to inspire people from every corner of the world to embrace the values that have embodied Nelson Mandela’s life – democracy; equality; reconciliation; diversity; responsibility; respect and freedom – for these are the values of Nelson Mandela and they are his legacy to the world.

• Mandela Day aims to showcase the work of the Nelson Mandela charitable organisations (Nelson Mandela Foundation; Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund; Mandela Rhodes Foundation) and raise monies to support their continuing work.

• By connecting people with ways to act on Nelson Mandela’s values, we aim to empower every individual to make an imprint on the world.

• The Mandela Day campaign message is simple: Nelson Mandela has given 67 years of his life fighting for the rights of humanity. All we are asking is that everyone gives 67 minutes of their time, whether it’s supporting your chosen charity or serving your local community.

• Mandela Day is a global social movement – an umbrella idea – that does not discriminate, it’s open and lets in and embraces every organization that does good, whilst enabling people to serve their community and improve their lives.

• Mandela Day is not a holiday – it is a day for all of us to opt in and show that we can all make an impact.

The Elders

eldersWow do I love this. This auspicious group has been working since 2007, but they are new to me. The Elders is a group of global leaders, brought together by Nelson Mandela, to offer their influence and wisdom to the process of peace building and to address human suffering. In addition to Mandela, Kofi Annan, Jimmy Carter, Graca Machel, Desmond Tutu, and Aung San Suu Kyi are a few others of the elders.The group was gathered and launched by Sir Richard Branson and Peter Gabriel.

There are so few cultures that still revere the wisdom that comes with age, the life spirit and lessons passed down through generations–it’s almost as if we move too quickly and are so desperate to reinvent and improve that we end up re-inventing the wheel instead of building upon the knowledge of those who have gone before us. What a loss.

The Elders focus on international rights issues and take on new challenges as they arise. Their collective plate is currently full with initiatives focused on: the difficult and fraught transition to democracy in Burma; issues based on equality for women and girls and calling for an end to religious and traditional practices that discriminate (perhaps you heard that Jimmy Carter, after 60 years, recently left the Southern Baptist church over their institutionalized repression of women); the humanitarian tragedy in Sudan; the unrest and division on the island of Cyprus; the humanitarian crisis in Zimbabwe; and the Every Human Has Rights campaign—a wordlwide declaration.

Big, heady issues. Big heads taking them on. When was the last time you reached out to the generation before yours for guidance? Your parents, aunts and uncles, neighbors, family friends, business mentors, or anyone older needn’t be a world leader to have incredible gifts of wisdom that are yours for the asking.


Happy Birthday 46664

logo_auction-300x231You’ve only got one shopping day left before July 18… you won’t shop for gifts, however, but for opportunities…for yourself.

July 18 is a worldwide celebration of the birthday of Nelson Mandela and an opportunity for each of us to take the time to make a difference.

Mandela’s prisoner number from his time in the Robben Island jail off the coast of Cape Town, South Africa, was #46664, a number now recognized worldwide as inspirational.

Mandela Day is an annual celebration of the world-changing life of Nelson Mandela and a “call to action for people to recognize their individual power to make an imprint and change the world around them.”

Make an imprint. Change something–or someone (in addition to yourself)–it’s yours to do.


Nelson Mandela Foundation

Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund

Mandela Rhodes Foundation