Archives For South Africa

No President will get elected on a platform of restraint and cutting back. Political and economic decisions are often made for today without thinking of the future.

In South Africa, where I live and work, we are having an electricity crisis. They need rolling blackouts because the demand exceeds capacity. The attempt to shut it down as little as possible, puts us dangerously close a national blackout because the buffer is so little.

Perhaps they should shut down power in more of the country so they can fix the problem faster?

Even in our personal lives, how often does the lure of “now” influence our purchases? That new cell phone or the upgraded car seem so needed, so we lock ourselves into a long-term contract. Don’t even get me started about debt versus savings rates in most homes!

“Ongoing Forgiveness is key to the Development of a Nation, Overcoming Horrors of the Past.”

I recently spent some time in Rwanda. Both Rwanda and my home nation of South Africa had history altering events happen twenty years ago.

The Rwandan genocide saw two tribes kill over one million people in just a few short months.

South Africa saw Nelson Mandela released, the end of apartheid, and a new democracy established. The media predicted a war which never came.

  • Both nations experienced historical events.
  • Both nations used forgiveness as a tool to move forward.

Rwanda enacted many laws and engaged in forgiveness-based exercises. They outlawed the use of any “tribe” or “ethnicity” on public documents. Many of the genocide participants reconcile through revealing the location of bodies of their victims to the surviving family members.

 “We are made to be dependent on one another.”

Desmond Tutu said this in a speech made during Leadercast. He spoke live from the Cape Town location and was beamed into 130 plus nations.

Tutu told stories of how Nelson Mandela had valued people on the way to becoming an extraordinary leader.

Nelson Mandela transitioned from an angry man to one who walked in forgiveness. His classroom for this development was 27 years in prison! The man who emerged to lead a nation, displaying no public bitterness or spite.

Mandela would do such things as have tea with the widow of the architect of apartheid. He was known for thanking the cooks in person in the kitchen following official functions. He even did this in Tutu’s home the night before he was “released” from prison officially. In the face of such a historic event, Mandela valued people and knew that we need each other.

Sunday is a day of prayer and remembrance in South Africa.

We are remembering the incredible life of Nelson Mandela and praying that his values and ideals will be carried through by current South Africans.

The television channels have preempted all programs since his death and have been showing tributes around the clock.

In the next week we will see a service in every major city, including many of the World Cup Stadiums, followed by his final burial in his hometown village.

The memories of Mandela are plenty:

Dawning one of the most prolific symbols of the old regime, the Springbock rugby jersey, in the Rugby World Cup which South Africa won. This was portrayed in the movie Invictus.

Including members of the apartheid government in his cabinet.

Inviting his jailer to be an honored guest at the inauguration.

An ordinary trip to the doctor’s with my family turned special.

As we were walking towards the elevator in an underground parking structure, I saw a small, older gentleman walking towards the elevator. My first thought was, “That looks like Desmond Tutu!” I motioned to my wife and whispered to her, wondering if she would confirm my suspicions

As we entered the elevator together, a nurse saw him, greeting the bishop. It was then he laughed his trademark laugh. I knew.

My wife asked if our boys could shake his hand telling them he was a very special man. The bishop quickly downplayed our compliments, shaking hands with our kids.

“Would you like a picture?” he offered.

Tutu

 

As we turned to leave for our floor, I was able to thank Desmond Tutu for what he had done for South Africa and bless God for Him.