On Madiba’s 100th birthday, we stand at a crossroad – a moment
in time at which two very different visions of humanity’s future compete for the hearts and the minds of citizens around the world.
Two different stories, two different narratives about who we are and who we should be. How should we respond? Let me tell you what I believe.
I believe in Nelson Mandela’s vision. I believe in a vision shared by Gandhi and King and Abraham Lincoln.
I believe in a vision of equality and justice and freedom and multiracial democracy,
built on the premise that all people are created equal, and that they’re endowed, by our creator, with certain inalienable rights.
I believe that a world governed by such principles is possible and that it can achieve more peace and more cooperation in pursuit of a common good.
If we’re truly to continue Madiba’s long walk towards freedom, we’re going to have to work harder and we’re going to have to be smarter.
We’re going to have to learn from the mistakes of the recent past.
Let me just suggest a few guideposts for the road ahead,
guideposts that draw from Madiba’s work, his words, the lessons of his life.
First, Madiba shows those of us who believe in freedom and democracy we are going to have to fight harder to reduce inequality
and promote lasting economic opportunity for all people.
Madiba understood this. He warned us about this.
He said: “Where globalisation means, as it so often does, that the rich and the powerful now have new means to further enrich
and empower themselves at the cost of the poorer and the weaker, [then] we have a responsibility to protest in the name of universal freedom.”
If we are serious about universal freedom today,
if we care about social justice today, then we have a responsibility to do something about it.
I would respectfully amend what Madiba said A TRIBUTE TO MADIBA.
I don’t do it often, but I’d say it’s not enough for us to protest; we’re going to have to build, we’re going to have to innovate,
we’re going to have to figure out how do we close this widening chasm of wealth and opportunity both within countries and between them.
Second, Madiba teaches us that some principles really are universal – and the most important one is the principle that we are bound together
by a common humanity and that each individual has inherent dignity and worth.
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