RIP Nelson Mandela

by Brandon

I think most people have it backwards when it comes to “reality.”

All too often, I hear people confuse pessimism with reality.

“The world is a harsh place,” they say. “People are selfish and greedy by nature. War is a fact of life. That’s not pessimism. That’s reality.”

Life is hard. Life is suffering.

Blah blah frickin’ blah.

Whether those statements are true or not, they aren’t complete. They only speak to a portion of reality.

See, I think there’s a deeper reality to life that these “realists” are ignoring. Hell, depending on my mood, I often ignore it.

But throughout history, there have been people who truly understood reality.

Martin Luther King, Jr. Gandhi. John Lennon. Jesus of Nazareth. Oskar Schindler.

The list goes on and on. There are too many to name. Some are rock stars, some are activists, some are religious icons. They come from all walks of life, but they share one very important trait:

They all recognize that love is the most powerful force on the planet.

Yeah, yeah. I know how that sounds. I know it sounds like hippie bullshit. And, to a degree, it is.

But it’s also reality.

The fact is, unconditional, unselfish, unrestrained love has the power to cure almost all of the world’s problems.

If we could just allow ourselves to love everybody, we wouldn’t have war. We wouldn’t have political vitriol.

Love truly has the power to overcome all these things. As long as democrats hate republicans and republicans hate democrats, no substantive progress is going to be made. As long as Christians hate Muslims and Muslims hate Christians, the religious wars will continue and they will continue to be bloody.

Truces won’t solve these problems. They might help, but they won’t solve them.

But love… truly loving each other would end the bullshit.

And I’m not talking about the fake-love we tend to spew when we talk about people we despise. I’m not talking about the kind of “love” where the phrase “I’ll pray for you” is just a way for us to feel superior to another person.

I’m talking about genuine love. Unconditional love. I’m talking about loving these people so much that their pain is our pain.

It’s that love that can save the world, if only the world could accept that the answer is, in fact, that easy.

Most people can never accept it. Most people hear things like what I’ve said here and they say, “It’s a nice thought, but it’s pointless and extremely naive. There’s no damn way that could ever happen.”

Well, throughout history, some people have stood up and said, “No. I will never accept that believing in the power of love is foolish. Never.” Many of those people died defending the idea that love is the answer.

Nelson Mandela was one of those people.

And for that, he is truly a world hero.

RIP Mr. Mandela. Thank you for inspiring the world.

–Brandon


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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

James Rozoff December 5, 2013 at 9:44 PM

Nicely done, Brandon. True heroes don’t come around very often, but Mandela was the real deal.
James Rozoff recently posted..R.I.P. Nelson MandelaMy Profile

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Lyn Brooks December 6, 2013 at 9:50 PM

I really loved this post Bran. Nelson Mandela was one of my heroes. I loved him. I guess I should say that I love him, in present tense, because I really believe that our bodies are just a vesssel, and that nothing can really and truly destroy love. People like Mandela, to me, become love. You and others may have already seen this movie, but if you haven’t seen Invictus, with Morgan Freeman, you should watch it. Now, on the surface, this movie might seem to be just about Rugby, but it really is more than that, and subtly it shows how Mandela really did work to bring unity to his country for everyone, regardless of their race. Our country, and countries around the world, are in desperate need of leaders like Mandela, leaders that are brave enough to love even the people who disagree with them. I know what you are saying about people that say that they will pray for someone. Some of us though, are really serious when we say it, and really will pray and send positive thoughts and energy to help someone, it’s not just empty words. So, I am praying for you Bran, and Laura also. I am praying that the books continue to be successful and grow in popularity, and pray that you continue to be inspired to give all of us, your fans, more Day Soldiers, more Man from Newella and more stories that you haven’t even shared with us yet, because you haven’t seen them in your visions, yet. Bran, you really are inspiring to us, your fellow writers out here. I hope you know that, I hope you realize that your leap of faith to pursue your dreams, your passion, has inspired many of us, and I pray that you never stop writing and sharing your stories with us. I love y’all and I am praying that this coming New Year will be one of health, happiness, peace and prosperity for all of us. I know some people may not feel that prayers matter much, that they don’t do any good (and no, not directing this at anyone in particular here, just an observation in general, sometimes I get depressed and feel this way myself at times) but for me, stopping and saying a prayer is my way that I keep my own faith, my own hope in the power of love alive. Prayer to me is as much about empathizing with the person and asking for divine assistance for that person that I am praying for as it about reminding myself of my own faults, my own frailties, my own need for positive thoughts, my need for positive energy, for divine assistance and my need for love. I am praying for our world, and each individual in it, that ultimately the power of love, in the end, will win out over all. Again, thank you for this awesome, well written post!

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