“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.” Those true words were uttered by the human rights lawyer, prisoner of conscience, international peacemaker, and the first democratically elected president of a free South Africa, Nelson Mandela. The UN General Assembly asks individuals around the world to make a difference in their communities to honor Nelson Mandela’s legacy on the day he was born, today, July 18th.
Today stands for freedom, justice, and democracy and recognizes the 67 years of service the former South African President devoted to fighting poverty, promoting peace, and social justice for all. Every year, people are making a difference by devoting 67 minutes of their time to making the world a better place. Everyone has the ability to take action and inspire change, so what can you do? Here are a few possibilities taken from the Nelson Mandela International Day website.
- Make a new friend. Get to know someone from a different cultural background.
- Read to someone who cannot.
- Help out at the local animal shelter.
- Help someone get a job.
- Donate a wheelchair or guide dog to someone in need.
- Buy a few blankets, or grab the ones you no longer need from home and give them to someone in need.
Want to learn more about Nelson Mandela, or this particular day, or how to give back to your community? The following resources can assist:
- Nelson Mandela Foundation
- Nelson Mandela Digital Archives
- Nelson Mandela Museum
- Bellevue University eCatalog
- Nelson Mandela Pinterest Page
- UN News Centre
Nelson Mandela was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1993, and passed away at the age of 95 in 2013. While he accomplished much, more can be done. Everyone has the power and ability to take action and inspire change, so why not start today and make the world a better place? Perhaps another great quote from Nelson Mandela might motivate and encourage you… “It always seems impossible until it’s done.”