Essay topic for Dr. Vivienne Malone-Mayes Baylor Black Alumni Scholarship Application
The world recently lost one of the most prolific world leaders of our time in Nelson Mandela. What do you think was the most impactful act of civility that he did to change our world and the world of civil rights?
“No one is born hating another person because of the color of his skin, or his background, or his religion. People must learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love, for love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite.” These notable words coined by Nelson Mandela speaks to the underlying reason for what I feel is his the most impactful act of civility. Yes, much can be said about Mr. Mandela’s great accomplishments, none of which overshadows leading the country of South Africa from 1994 to 1999 without retaliating against the leaders of apartheid. Mr. Mandela exemplified the quiet spirit of a giant.
Nelson Mandela ruled South Africa without mass genocide, without destroying the established government of South Africa while accentuating it with people of color. Mandela peacefully and civilly led the leadership of South Africa to diversity without destroying the people of South Africa during his reign as leader.
After serving 27 years in prison, Mandela's most pointed act of civility, was his negotiations with F. W. de Klerk to abolish apartheid and establish multiracial elections. It has been said that these negotiations took place in the midst of political violence. This act alone was defining and in my estimate catapulted Nelson Mandela into a league of his own.
Mandela’s prescription for dealing with de Klerk is seen in this very poignant and insightful quote. “A good leader can engage in a debate frankly and thoroughly, knowing that at the end he and the other side must be closer, and thus emerge stronger. You don't have that idea when you are arrogant, superficial, and uninformed.” This defines...