Apple's home page has been updated with a tribute to former South African President Nelson Mandela, who died earlier this week. One of the greatest leaders of our era, Mandela went from political prisoner to head of state during the course of his lifetime. Through the sheer power of his will and heart, he saw his country out of the dark ages, and held it together when it could so very easily have collapsed into chaos and calamity. He challenged his people to be and do better.
My parents were born in South Africa. My sister and I were born in South Africa. We left while Mandela was still in prison, but watched from afar as he became president. Our modern leaders should make it the mission of their lives to demonstrate but an ounce of his grace and effect but a measure of his healing.
I'm not certain how many consumer electronic companies donate their home pages to such tributes, but I don't expect it is many. Mandela obviously inspired Apple, as he inspired a people and a nation. He can and should inspire a world. In his memory, where you see hate, offer love. Where you see pettiness, provoke greatness. When called upon to lead or to choose leaders, understand what true leadership is, and the respect, compassion, and courage required of it.
In loving memory.
- "I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear."
- "Do not judge me by my successes, judge me by how many times I fell down and got back up again."
- "For to be free is not merely to cast off one's chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others."
- "Real leaders must be ready to sacrifice all for the freedom of their people."
- "No one is born hating another person because of the color of his skin, or his background, or his religion. People must learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love, for love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite"