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A LESSON ON LIFE FROM NELSON MANDELA


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By Gordon K. Sattro, Esq.


As the world reflects on the passing of a man who truly changed the hearts and minds of millions the world over, I believe that this is an opportune time to speak about what matters most for you, as an individual and as an attorney.


It is difficult to sum up the story of Nelson Mandela, and it is interesting to see what many news outlets are saying about this great man. The New York Times headline stated, “A Giant Among Men Has Passed Away”. The Washington Post wrote, “He belongs to the ages”. The LA Times simply displayed the headline, “Mandela: A life devoted to liberty”. It would be interesting to see what President Mandela would say about these headlines, but I think most would venture to say that he would have been humbled by the kind words. I think that most would then go on to say that quite simply he was a “servant of the people”.


When Nelson Mandela first emerged from prison after 27 years of struggle and heartache, he stood before a roaring crowd on the balcony of Cape Town’s City Hall on Sunday February 11, 1990 and said,


“I greet you all in the name of peace, democracy and freedom for all. I stand here before you not as a prophet but as a humble servant of you, the people. Your tireless and heroic sacrifices have made it possible for me to be here today. I therefore place the remaining years of my life in your hands.”


He could have said many things, words of hate toward his captors, or that of revolution, but he was humble, he was stoic, and committed to being a man of the people.


This brings me to my point. Nelson Mandela pursued his dream, and this is one of the many lessons from this man’s life that you should take to heart.


Nelson Mandela was an attorney in his younger years and he could have continued to practice whileignoring the injustices that were occurring daily, but he took a different path, a path of his own choosing. It is the fact that he was willing to give up so much for something that he believed in that you should take to heart when you are thinking about your career and your goals.


Mandela said it best,


“There is no passion to be found playing small – in settling for a life that is less than the one you are capable of living.”


With that, I ask you to think about this: Are you passionate about what you are doing? Or are you merely settling for something less?


This is normally the part where I discuss Legal Authority and how we can help you in achieving that dream, but I believe that venturing into such territory would be in bad taste. So let me say this: Pursue your passion and never settle for anything less. As is made painfully clear to each of us daily, we only have a finite amount of time on this planet and we must always strive to do more.

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