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.