Humanitarianism is kindness, benevolence/helpfulness, and sympathy toward others. Humanitarians can inspire others for many reasons. Perhaps they shed light on something that needs or deserves more attention. Perhaps they inspire you to do something in your life that is beneficial to others or even that is helpful or productive in your own life. Whatever the outcome, humanitarians can be inspiring. There are humanitarians that are ranked highly historically.
Nelson Mandela was an activist, politician, humanitarian, lawyer, and author. Born Rolihlahla Mandela in 1918 in the Union of South Africa into a royal family he was recognized as a hereditary royal councillor. His father had four wives, four sons, and nine daughters. He was a cattle-boy and raised Christian. At a Methodist school he was given the forename Nelson. His father died when he was young and his mother moved him to the “Great Place” palace. His guardians there then raised him with their children, Justice and Nomafu. He attended Clarkebury Methodist High School. In 1937, he attended the Methodist college Healdtown.
In 1939, he attended the University of Fort Hare. Nelson was involved in sports, dancing, and drama. He became involved with the Students’ Representative Council. This led to him leaving school and getting a job as a night watchman. He then took a job as an articled clerk at a law firm. He met people involved with the African National Congress (ANC) and the Communist Party. He signed up for a correspondence course with the University of South Africa. He passed his BA exams in 1943.
Nelson next studied law at the University of Witwatersrand. He joined the ANC. He worked as a lawyer in Johannesburg. He became President of the ANC Transvaal branch and was involved with the 1952 anti-apartheid Defiance Campaign and the 1955 Congress of the People. In 1962, Nelson was arrested for conspiring to overthrow the government. He was sentenced to life in prison. After serving 27 years in prison he was released by then President F. W. de Klerk in 1990.
Mandela and de Klerk put an end to apartheid. Nelson Mandela then became President in the 1994 multiracial general election. With a new constitution, there was racial group reconciliation. His administration encouraged land reform, combatted poverty, and expanded healthcare services. After declining to run for a second term, he worked through the Nelson Mandela Foundation to combat poverty and HIV/AIDS and was an elder statesman.
Nelson Mandela was involved in controversies, but also has been honored and awarded for his work. He received more than 250 honors, including the Nobel Peace Prize and different countries’ top honors. He is highly respected and seen as “Father of the Nation” in South Africa.
Nelson Mandela was married three times and had six children. He died in 2013 of a respiratory tract infection. He has many memorials, decorations, and monuments dedicated to him. Many books have been written about him and there is his own authored books. He is recognized and remembered in popular culture as well. Be inspired! Have a bright day!