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2014 New Year’s resolution: Exert the moral responsibility to further brighten the flame

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by Harrish Thirukumaran

Universally, Nelson Mandela has inevitably become a humanistic embodiment of democracy, freedom, equality and human rights.


PM Harper in South Africa to pay his final respects to Nelson Mandela-Government of Canada has decisively introduced a set of scholarships under Mandela’s namepic: pm.gc.ca/

Mandela’s life-altering decisions and actions have formulated his individual moral compass that lives on through his organizational foundation. As implied, social intolerance was one of many key issues that were effectively combated by him within his capacity as a lawyer.

Mandela, known predominantly by his Xhosa name, Madiba has instilled a characterization of humility that has touched all parts of the globe. The term had affectionately defined Mandela, primarily for his hardened commitment to eradicate the overarching apartheid system that sanctioned racism in South Africa. It was a deeply fragmented system that was amalgamated under the tyrannical belief of excessive white supremacy over all South African races. His prolonged work within the African National Congress had provided the South African with efficient political avenues to divulge and undermine the rampant apartheid cruelties. Anti-apartheid campaign mechanisms mobilized through forms of civil disobedience emphasized Mandela’s determination and righteousness.

Arguably, the principled strength of his revolutionary activism was realized by his unethical imprisonment for seemingly disrupting the stability of the brutal system’s merits. For nearly 30 years Mandela had been suffering as a prisoner for dissenting on a system that indirectly created tensional divisions between white and black South Africans. However, due to South Africans’ and the world’s advocacy for equal freedoms in Mandela’s vision, his subsequent release ushered in a new dawn of peace and order. Mandela’s abilities and relevance soon included him in sufficient consultations that multilaterally ended apartheid in a peaceful manner. Apartheid’s demise had soon brokered a sense a doctrinaire of diverse rights and freedoms for all South Africans, regardless of external traits.

Mandela’s charismatic qualities coupled with his leadership in a recognizable struggle had granted him a spot in his country’s first purely pluralist elections. In which, the event had showcased the newly established voting rights of all South Africans and the former’s historic victory as the county’s first black president. Domestically, Mandela had tirelessly striven towards sound democratic reconciliation of his once segregated people. Internationally, he maintained an inclination to proliferate his own foundational ideals of equality to all global citizens. Also, he facilitated an international atmosphere that was composed of his alignment with mediation and cooperation. Overall, Nelson Mandela was truly a representational beacon of hope and unity, whose own ideological nature has transcended amongst the world in the pursuit of human progress.


Thank you Madiba.

Nelson Mandela had recently passed away on December 5, 2013 surrounded by loved ones at his home in Johannesburg, South Africa. Though, his death has been denoted by a toll of sadness and despair for the former South African president, his legacy will pragmatically live on through the morally democratic actions of individuals. This is most readily apparent through the goals and activities of the Nelson Mandela Foundation within his South African homeland. Yet, given the timely connotation around Mandela’s passing it delivers a new idealistic approach for the future.

In other words, since 2014 is at the forefront of transitioning today’s global society, changing norms of New Year’s resolutions can also be visualized. Basically, to honour Nelson Mandela, we should all promote further collaboration and cooperation in building explicitly concrete passages to societal opportunity such as education. In my view, certain incremental actions and choices by every global citizen are necessary to facilitate the elimination of civil barriers and the promotion of comprehensive prosperity.


For example, the Government of Canada has decisively introduced a set of scholarships under Mandela’s name. Educationally, these funds are derived from their purpose to financially enable individuals to obtain efficient learning on governance and public policy to ensure sound state developments. Ideally, these elements have always been undertones Mandela’s many aspirations for his country and beyond. From Mandela’s perspective, “education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.”

Studying Nelson Mandela in general tied to extracting an informative attitude are both powerful ways to also sustain his utmost relevance on our societal direction. So for 2014 New Year’s resolution we should somehow exert the moral responsibility to further brighten the flame initially lit by Nelson Mandela’s contributions.

(Harrish Thirukumaran attends second year at Brock University, Ontario, during 2013-14)

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