Friday, December 13, 2013

parallel lives

Two extraordinary leaders have been in the news this week: Nelson Mandela, the first black president of South Africa, and José Mujica, the current president of Uruguay.  Mandela's accomplishments at this point seem mostly of an inspirational nature given the poor performance of his ANC successors.  Mujica's leadership initiatives could still be undermined by financial and political chicanery as were Mandela's.  Whatever, happens, though, both men's accomplishments and integrity will be remembered and celebrated.  Both stood up to thuggish regimes, suffered years of imprisonment, and came out of the experience stronger than when they began.  Mujica, in a a recent interview reported in the Guardian, expressed a view of history that Mandela would surely have found compatible:

"The world will always need revolution. That doesn't mean shooting and violence. A revolution is when you change your thinking. Confucianism and Christianity were both revolutionary." 

Friday, December 6, 2013