Speak Kindly of Him

I suppose that all the obituaries, television and radio dedications, articles and programmes in the professional media have been prepared for months, if not years; they have been waiting for Nelson Mandela to die before releasing a veritable torrent of words and pictures about him. It is not surprising because there are so few heroes these days that work so much in the open and so few people who genuinely influence events, rather than have events influence them.

Ultimately history will judge Mr Mandela. Its judgment will almost certainly speak kindly of him but we can never be sure about what things are until we see them from a distance, and so it is with people and their lives. Mr Mandela has had his life, and it has been a good life and we should not be sad. If the judgement of those who survive us is just to speak kindly of us, then we will have had good lives.

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