After a long struggle with various health issues, Nelson Mandela died at the age of 95. An advocator for ending segregation and violence and a well loved and respected leader in South Africa for many years, Mandela has certainly left quite an impact on many.

Mandela stressed a huge importance on receiving an education, even stating, “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.” As per my last post, I am truly grateful for the educational opportunities I have been blessed to have.

In TESOL we are taught the importance of being tolerant of others’ cultures. Mandela is a role model to whom we, as future ESL teachers, can look to as he helped to have South African writings, songs, and other mediums distributed world wide. To this effect, Mandela stated, “Without language, one cannot talk to people and understand them; one cannot share their hopes and aspirations, grasp their history, appreciate their poetry or savour their songs. I again realized that we were not different people with separate languages; we were one people, with different tongues.” In this he explains how no matter our cultures of languages we are all human beings and should be treated the same.

Ultimately, we should all take a moment to appreciate the great country we live in where we do not have to fight on a daily basis for our right to attend school or our right to practice our religions or cultural traditions. Nelson Mandela made huge strides in South Africa for all he has done to help his people, and people to follow his lead and make a differences around the world.