I’ve chosen to take a different approach with my blog. It’s become very dry and – dare I say – depressive. lately I’ve sunken into a depressive kind of state. Not because of anything in particular. Just life in general. I’ve been trying everyday to make a change in my life to make it easier, to bring back some joy. But I found myself focusing on the big things I would like to achieve. I found there are so many options, I was confused as to which path I should take. Everyday I changed my mind, which stopped me going anywhere. I thought I could be a writer, a politician, an artist, have my own business, a health professional, a personal trainer, a journalist. All of these thoughts flooded my head for months.
Now I realize I need to focus on the little things. You have to start somewhere to create something big. If there were no little things, big things wouldn’t exist. So I’ve decided to challenge myself. Everyday I’m going to find some sort of inspiration – whether it be a photo, a quote, a story, a song – and post it on here for a month (until September 2). Hopefully this can help myself and you to achieve great things.
I know I said I would focus on small things, but I’m going to start with something big. Nelson Mandela. I’m sure everyone has heard of this man. A truly great icon for humanity.
I first found out about Mandela in high school. I was in a class called “Religious Education and Ethics” which was compulsory for all year 7’s. As much as I hated the class, there was one project that I enjoyed participating in. It was called ‘Significant Figures”. I still remember it to this day (and trust me, I have a horrible memory).
The significant figure that I chose was, funnily enough, Nelson Mandela. Although I think I was too young at that time to fully understand how great he was, I was still amazed and inspired by him.
If you search for him on Wikipedia, the page is a mile long. So I’m going to shorten it down a little :).
This man experienced more than a tiny set back in his life. His father died when he was only a child, he was expelled from university for joining a student protest, he lost a child at infancy, went through two divorces, was charged for leaving the country, sent to life imprisonment, suffered numerous illnesses, banned from attending the funerals of his mother and son, and at one point faced a death penalty. But it was through these set backs that he thrived.
“Do not judge me by my successes, judge me by how many times I fell down and got back up again.” – Nelson Mandela
Although Mandela had his own family, he considered his country to be his family. Through forgiveness, he taught his nation what it was like to be compassionate and loving: “If there are dreams about a beautiful South Africa, there are also roads that lead to their goal. Two of these roads could be named Goodness and Forgiveness“.
If it isn’t amazing that Mandela didn’t go insane after spending 27 years in prison (and rejecting at least three opportunities to get out), then it’s definitely amazing what he achieved after he was released.
“I have fought against white domination, and I have fought against black domination. I have cherished the ideal of a democratic and free society in which all persons live together in harmony and with equal opportunities. It is an ideal which I hope to live for and to achieve. But if needs be, it is an ideal for which I am prepared to die.”
Even though it may be slightly dramatized, after watching the movie “Invictus” (which depicts some of Mandela’s achievements in the reconciliation of South Africa), I was truly inspired by this man. He spoke so simply about such big ideas, managing to turn around a nation. His struggles and triumphs show that it’s the little things that count.
“It always seems impossible until it’s done.” – Nelson Mandela