Growing up as a young black man the story of Nelson Mandela has always seemed inspiring to me. From Mandela’s imprisonment for nearly 30 years, to his rise to power following his release in the early 90s, Nelson Mandela stood as a symbol of what a person could do to change the world.
As a Christian I found his amazing ability to forgive and bring people together to be most inspiring. When Nelson Mandela was elected the expectation was that he would move to punish those responsible for much of what happened to him and others that were involved in oppressing the black people of South Africa. Instead he moved to forgive those people, having set up a "Truth and Reconciliation Commission" to investigate any crimes and allowed people first the opportunity to confess their crimes in order to receive forgiveness for them. This was truly an extraordinary move on his part as nowhere else had this been done before and for most people they would want the people responsible for what suffering that you endured to be punished and not forgiven.
Even though I've never meet him before, his example has been a great influence on me that will be greatly missed. RIP Nelson Mandela.