3:58PM, Central Standard Time, I was driving to pick up my girlfriend from work and that’s when I heard the breaking news on the local radio station…”Nelson Mandela has passed away at 95 years old..”

At that moment my heart dropped and my drive became silent. 

I reflected on a man who gave the greatest gift that any man could give…and that is to sacrifice his life for another.

What Nelson Mandela showed throughout his life is possible in all of us.  To stand up for what you believe in, to remain positive and humble throughout it all, to lead by example, to inspire those around us, and most importantly to NEVER give up.

To spend 27 years detained for wanting equality and to come out just as energized and ready to continue what you started three decades prior is a devotion to a cause that most men would have let fade over those many nights and days.  He was never broken.

The Truth and Reconciliation Commission established under his leadership remains a model for achieving justice in societies confronting a legacy of human rights abuses.  He inspired the Untied Nations to stand by his side and end apartheid in South Africa.

This man sacrifices and achievements reached beyond South Africa. His goal inspired people throughout the world.

There are many obstacles that remain in the world in regards to equality and human rights.  In many ways the idea of apartheid still remains…right here in America.  It can be looked at as a classicism type of apartheid and a race type of apartheid. Black people and more particularly young black men are being subject to a societal genocide.  We are in need of a Nelson Mandela to stand up for what is right…but as stated above what he showed is possible in  ALL of us.

Thank you Nelson Mandela and rest well…



Louis Byrd