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Farewell to Nelson Mandela

a Righteous for Milan and the world

Young Nelson Mandela

Young Nelson Mandela

Nelson Mandela will be remembered in the Milan Garden of the Righteous Worldwide on 6 March 2014 on the European Day of the Righteous. 

This was decided just a few days ago by the Association for the Milan Garden of the Righteous, which has accepted Gariwo’s proposal.  Now the condolences for the passing away of the charismatic leader who was able to turn hatred and violence into a project to reconcile the various souls of South Africa are following one another in the media. It was precisely his commitment for dialogue and reconciliation that inspired the choice to dedicate him a tree on Monte Stella Hill. 

Mandela always acted according to a deep “ethics of responsibility”, that he was able to put into deeds that were always inspired by the good of the other. This was his most important legacy: the awareness that no good at whatsoever can arise from harming someone else. The reconciliation path undertaken by Mandela was not at all something that could be taken for granted, after the violence of the racist regime that subjugated and frightened 90% of the South African population. Just for saying: "Democracy is the ideal for which I am going to live, but also the one for which, if this need to be, I am ready to die", Mandela served 27 years in prison, facing torture and hardship and running the risk of being executed. It could have been easy for such an assertive and strongwilled character as Mandela to pursue revenge. But “Madiba”, as they called him in his family and clan, experienced his ordeal as an opportunity to cultivate in himself the ideals of humanism, brotherhood and peace, which he deemed to be “more precious than diamonds, gold and silver”. He accomplished a long walk to become fully aware that without the possibility to live peacefully with the others, the people who are different from us, there cannot be a true freedom. He not only understood when it was time to give up armed struggle, but he also founded the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, in which victims and executioners for the first time found themselves in front of each other to face together the burden of the crimes committed during the apartheid, and above all to grant South Africa a future of peaceful coexistence.   

"The legacy of Mandela – says prof. Marcello Flores of Università di Siena – is not only moral, but also political. He fought against power and he showed how power needs be managed, and the necessity to keep detached from it to use it for everybody's good. Mandela, a unique example in history, managed to step aside, keeping instead the role of a great protagonist and source of moral inspiration – and in this he suffered for things could have been better with his direct presence. But Madiba understood that no man alone can solve the contradictions of a country that undertakes the path of democracy. He was able to help without masking the complex reality of things”.

10 December 2013

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