But the legacy he leaves will shadow that history, always. And that’s a reason for hope at a time when such reasons are in desperately short supply.
It is easy to be dismayed when one surveys the American political scene, as one listens to the small-minded nattering of mediocre minds unable to conceive of any cause higher than ideology or self. But in Nelson Mandela’s long and singular life, we are reminded that it does not have to be that way.
Selfishness is a choice. Mandela refused to make it. And the world is a better place because he did.
Leonard Pitts is a columnist for The Miami Herald, 1 Herald Plaza, Miami, Fla., 33132. Readers may contact him via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.