Hard lessons in taking a stand, making lasting change

As the year ended, anti-Apartheid legend Nelson Mandela passed on. In rejoicing over the freedom of his people, Mandela once said: “The UN took a strong stand against apartheid; and over the years, an international consensus was built, which helped to bring an end to this iniquitous system. But we know too well that our freedom is incomplete without the freedom of the Palestinians….”

Mandela also said “Israel should withdraw from all the areas which it won from the Arabs in 1967. In particular, Israel should withdraw completely from the Golan Heights, from south Lebanon and from the West Bank.”

As the year began, pro-apartheid champion Ariel Sharon passed on. In vowing to continue taking Palestinian land to expand Israeli real estate developments (a.k.a. settlements), Sharon told Winston Churchill’s grandson: “We’ll make a pastrami sandwich out of them. We’ll insert a strip of Jewish settlements in between the Palestinians, and then another strip of Jewish settlements right across the West Bank, so that in 25 years’ time neither the United Nations nor the United States, nobody, will be able to tear it apart.”

Agree or disagree, fond memories or disgusting ones, both men are dead. They are just dust. They did what they did to shape the future. But they didn’t do it alone. They followed many who fought and died before them, and their goals and ambitions were fulfilled with the support of like-minded followers.

What are you going to do today that will help shape tomorrow? Will you ignore the current events forming future trends, passively watching them unfold, or help create tomorrow? How will history judge you? History doesn’t judge. You are the judge. When you’re dead you’re gone.

This is your wake-up call.

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