Use your courage to follow your heart

Olifant, Okavango Delta, Botswana

Ik ontving een hele mooie overdenking van mijn dierbare vriend en wildernisgids Alan McSmith, die woont en werkt in Zuid-Afrika. Alan was onze wildernisgids in 2006, toen wie met tien financiële dienstverleners met hem de Okavanga Delta bezochten, zie mijn Okavango reisverslag. Alan is al 25 jaar gids. Op zijn website www.alanmcsmith.com lees je: “Alan McSmith has walked, poled and paddled through the wild-lands of six Southern African countries, and is considered by his peers as one of the most experienced guides in the business. Some time ago, this love of the bush developed into dedicating his life to wilderness and environmental conservation. Most safari clients refer to it as a burning passion. Based in White River in South Africa, Alan lives & works as a wilderness trail guide & motivational speaker, and is deeply involved in safari guide training courses with a leading training provider. He shares the immense value of nature in our lives … and what we stand to lose without it. He travels regularly to Europe to conduct motivational presentations to corporate audiences with much success. Alan’s reputation as an entertaining, deeply inspiring and down to earth public speaker has gained momentum and was invited to speak at the prestigious TEDXAmsterdam event,  which drew an on-line audience of over 30 000 people.”

En vandaag schreef hij me het volgende en ik ben blij dit te mogen delen…

“Nelson Mandela, a seminal world leader, is currently in hospital in a critical condition.
The prospect of his passing has created a world-wide media frenzy, culminating in mass hysteria, concern, hype and controversy. His 95th birthday is less than two weeks away. His family are embroiled in an ugly public feud. President Barack Obama has come to our country and gone. Political rivalry is intensifying. Scenes from the hospital are on TV every night.

Where is the dignity for this man?

The dignity he stood for his entire life; the integrity he was prepared to die for; the humility that through him and only him, transcended a remote African country and throbbed around the world like the mightiest of tsunamis, bringing peoples, cultures, religions together like nothing before nor since.

Mandela is, was, and always will be a giant amongst men. His legacy is only beginning.

Some time ago, while he was the president, he was grocery shopping in a supermarket. A lady walked past him pushing her two year old son in a pram. Upon recognising him, she stopped and spoke. “Mr President,” she asked, “would you be gracious enough to greet my son, and although he is too young to understand, I will be able to tell him some day that he met Nelson Mandela.” The president smiled gently and walked over to the pram. “Hello young man,” he said, “I sincerely hope to be as important as you one day.”

Humility indeed.

By reading this message, you are taking a moment from your busy day to celebrate the power of humanity, and how it can transform our world.

Just as we should be celebrating the life and legacy of Nelson Mandela.

Use his courage to follow your hearts.

Een buiging….