“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.”
~ Nelson Mandela
We’re visiting with Justin’s parents in South Africa over the next few weeks for our Fall R&R. Today we dropped by Nelson Mandela’s home in Johannesburg, where he is being kept on life support. Media crews are congregating outside waiting for something to happen. Outside, little rock gardens have been set up around the perimeter of the home, delivering the well wishes from school children in Johannesburg. You can see his house in the background behind us. There was a police officer on guard duty, but as long as you don’t act in a way that implies you might be up to something malicious, you can pretty much walk freely along the outside of the property.
It was a very surreal experience knowing that we were standing just feet away from the home in which such an influential leader will likely take his last breaths. As we gazed somberly at the walls of the compound, we reflected upon Madiba’s life — his eternal impact on history — and silently paid our respects, knowing that it would likely be very soon that the world would gather together to do the same.
Only for us, in this time, for one moment, we had him all to ourselves.