In November of 2009 the United Nations General Assembly declared July 18 Nelson Mandela International Day. Nelson Mandela International Day is a day honoring the memory of the great president of South Africa for his contributions to peace and freedom all over the world. The United Nations has issued a call for individuals to spend 67 minutes helping others. Each minute represents a year that Mandela spent serving others.
Nelson Mandela once said, “We can change the world and make it a better place. It is in your hands to make a difference. “ It is in all of our hands to change the world now. We decide what the future will bring. We can make the future brighter with our actions. Making the future brighter starts with our actions today.
We must help our neighbor. We must be the change that we wish to see in the world. We must treat other better than they have treated us. We must turn the other cheek in order to change the world. As Mandela said, “We were expected to destroy one another and ourselves collectively in the worst racial conflagration. Instead, we as a people chose the path of negotiation, compromise and peaceful settlement. Instead of hatred and revenge we chose reconciliation and nation-building.” We must choose to raise others up instead of trying to tear them down. We must love our neighbor, because simply tolerating our neighbor is not enough.
On July 18, how will you follow in Nelson Mandela’s footsteps? How will you serve your community and others? How will you spend your 67 minutes? Every action, every person, and every step towards building the world you wish to see is vitally important to creating a better future for everyone.