Friday, December 06, 2013

Nobody Asked Me, But...

The Czech novelist, Milan Kundera, once wrote that the struggle of man against power is the struggle of memory against forgetting.

This is why governments jail "subversives," radicals who oppose the conventional wisdom to such an extent that they might actually foment change. It is far better to keep the populace ignorant. This tactic usually works, for who among us, who among the world of humanity, can say how much change for the good could have come from those who languished in jail?

This tactic usually works, but in one case, the case of Nelson Mandela, it did not. People refused to forget, because the power of his idea, that all people deserve freedom and all people deserve equality, was so enormous that even the regime of apartheid South Africa could not silence him, could not make us forget.

And when he was freed, and memory won out, when all around him counseled war, when all around him counseled him to rage and anger, he would say "Man's goodness is a flame that can be hidden but never extinguished."

It is hard to fathom that a man who dies at 95 was taken from us too soon, but Mandiba, you will be missed. Your fight has only just begun.
You can blow out a candle
But you can't blow out a fire
Once the flames begin to catch
The wind will blow it higher
 Yihla moja, the man is dead.