Thursday, December 5, 2013



On February 11, 1990, my mother called. “Turn on the news,” she yelled, “Wilson Madilla is being released.”

I laughed and told my mother that she was confused. Although I had protested, and taught my students about the inevitable end of apartheid, I had a hard time believing that it could be true.

I did as my mother told me to do and was rewarded with a sight that still thrills me. Nelson Mandela had in fact been released from prison.

Years later, when I went to Robbins Island and stood in the tiny cell that had imprisoned Mandela for 27 years, I was amazed that intellect and compassion could ever grow in that hard place.

Today, when I heard that Mandela had died,  once again, I had a difficult time receiving and believing the news. My mother and Mandela were both born in 1918 and I somehow expected them both to be with us forever.

There is a level of life that very few achieve. This level is only realized when a person dedicates their entire being to being in purpose. They give their all.

This kind of living requires that you believe that your goals are actually possible.

We cannot hope for change; personally or globally without believing that change is not only possible; it is inevitable.

Mandela went beyond the goal of ending oppression and onto the realization of reconciliation.

He gave his all and as a result was able to see that all things are truly possible.

Be you, be well, believe.

Bertice Berry, PhD.  

I have fought against white domination and I have fought against black domination. I have cherished the ideal of a democratic and free society in which all persons live together in harmony and with equal opportunities. It is an ideal which I hope to live for and to achieve. But if needs be, it is an ideal for which I am prepared to die.` Nelson Mandela

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