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Honoring Nelson Mandela: It Starts When Nobody’s Watching

Today I join millions of people worldwide honoring the life of Nelson Mandela. It seems no words will ever do justice in attempting to write about such a visionary. So, I will keep my words brief and instead encourage you to honor Mandela through your actions. I don’t mean merely today. Or tomorrow. Or next month. Rather, I challenge you to consistently live by one of his greatest notes of inspiration: “What counts in life is not the mere fact that we have lived. It is what difference we have made to the lives of others that will determine the significance of the life we lead.”

Indeed, we all get a chance at life. But life itself seems meaningless if we choose to do nothing with it. This is true even on the smallest scale— which is where change begins. It starts by forgiving those closest to you. Through being warm to your family. By practicing patience with the waiter who gets your order wrong, or the sales clerk who won’t accept your return.

After all, creating the greatest change begins when no one is looking— when the cameras aren’t there to record your speech or snap your portrait next to smiling children. It starts by being kind, above everything else, to all those you encounter. Only then can you begin to effectively change lives on a grander scale, as Mandela did.

After all, creating the greatest change begins when no one is looking.

As I argued in my last post, we all have enough time in life– whether God chooses it to be 10 years or 95 years. The numbers don’t matter. What matters is how we treat people through each second, of each day, of all the years we’re given.