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Barack Obama about Nelson Mandela - Essay Example

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The ‘giant of history’ was not present among us when world leaders, prime ministers, presidents and thousands of people gathered at the national memorial service in Johannesburg. The former South African president died at the age of 95, leaving behind a legacy of his inspiring leadership, world justice and peace. …
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Barack Obama about Nelson Mandela
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The Complementary Rough Draft The Complementary Rough Draft The ‘giant of history’ was not present among us when world leaders, prime ministers, presidents and thousands of people gathered at the national memorial service in Johannesburg. The former South African president died at the age of 95, leaving behind a legacy of his inspiring leadership, world justice and peace. Nelson Mandela was the most beloved leader who reconciled the South African nation in their most volatile time. He was the personification of the ideal leader who is inspired, valued and cherished by his followers all over the world. However, the funeral was marked by a political ambiance where political leaders came from hundreds of states to pay their respect and reverence to the world leader (Smith, 2013). Among the political figures seen at Johannesburg, Barack Obama was also there who gave a tribute that not only lightened up the memorial but also established a non-political, heartfelt homage to the world leader. Barack Obama gave a speech that highlighted the meaning of leadership in our society and the current lack of the leadership that the world needs and aspires. He signified the struggle that Mandela put up for his country and people. Obama said, “In the arc of his life, we see a man who earned his place in history through struggle and shrewdness, persistence and faith. He tells us what is possible not just in the pages of dusty history books, but in our own lives as well” (Pace, 2013). Barack Obama brought up the importance of application of Mandela’s historic life principles and leadership qualities on our own lives especially the political leaders. He discussed that he tries to make himself more like Mandela both as a man and as a president. The prominent part of his speech was that we should not just remember Mandela’s legacy but also emphasized that we should use his principles more practically. “We, too, must act on behalf of justice. We, too, must act on behalf of peace” (Pace, 2013). Barack Obama stressed that, from our history, we must comprehend, learn and apply the struggle process that Mandela exhibited to achieve our national goals. Barack Obama made everyone listen to his words because he rose above the politics and the world boundaries. His speech highlighted the strength and harmony of the South Africans that they had shown over the past period. “South Africans show us we can change. We can choose to live in a world defined not by our differences but by our common hopes. We can choose a world defined not by conflict, but by peace and justice and opportunity” (Smith, 2013). Obama’ words reflected the significance of Mandela’s struggle and how he was supported and respected by his people that led them to achieve a society they aspired and desired. Mandela led them in a struggle which helped them achieve peace and justice, resolving the boundaries of prejudice and discrimination. Obama highlighted that world leaders, although respect Mandela’s struggle, fail to follow them in conjunction with their own people. Mandela was an epitome of true leader who forgot the cruelty of the past and always confronted the future with truth and generosity. Obama said that Mandela changed not just the laws but also the hearts of people. He inspired the world by reconiling with the jailers who kept him in prison for 27 years. He trusted others in spite of the injustices he had to face, which made him a better person and an inspired leader (Smith, 2013). The crowd appreciated and respected Obama’s sincere words for their leader. Obama accentuated that to truly bring about a change, the changes in laws are not the only things that are needed but it is essential to gain the harmony of the people as well as of the enemies of the past. The audience at the national memorial service included the global leaders, politicans, people of South Africa and thousands of people sitting in their homes watching the funeral on their televisions. Obama’s words were not just directed towards the politicans but also influenced the general population. He not only focused on Mandela’s principles being applied on the world reforms and important political decisions but he also focused upon his generosity, truth and justice to be adapted. This is because he truly formed an example of an honorable man and a good human being. Barack Obama emphasized on Mandela’s struggle and compared it to the current world’s struggle of maintaining world peace and justice. He stressed that Mandela’s insight should be adapted by our leaders when formulating important reforms and interacting with their people. Thus, he emphasized that Mandela’s legacy should not just be remembered but it should also be adapted and personalized. References Pace, J. (2013). Barack Obama remembers Nelson Mandela, His Legacy. The Huffington Post. Retrieved from http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/12/10/obama-nelson-mandela-memorial-service_n_4417507.html Smith, D. (2013). Barack Obama lights up damp Nelson Memorial. The Guardian. Retrieved from http://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/dec/10/nelson-mandela-memorial-service-barack-obama Read More
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