Yesterday & Today, the world is celebrating the birthday of Nelson Mandela, an icon of freedom who continues to inspire even though he has retired from public life. Now 93, this recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize is being commemorated widely and creatively on his special day.
A rousing rendition of “Happy Birthday” has been sung for him by 12 million South African school children. Bikers in South Africa have toured the nation doing good in the name of the man who spent 27 years in prison as a beacon of hope against the tyranny of racial oppression. Fellow human rights leader Desmond Tutu came out of retirement to give an interview in honor of his friend and fellow revolutionary. President Obama sent birthday wishes to the great man. And, in one of the most modern expressions of appreciation, the youth arm of the ANC is encouraging all to change their Facebook profile pictures to reflect Mandela today, to show the leader how much he means to all.
Yes, Mandela’s 93rd birthday is touching the lives of millions, even though his frail condition prevents him from interacting with us. Mandela will be celebrating privately today with family at his home in the village of Qunu. But that doesn’t mean you, too, have to quietly rest.