Share This: Facebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather

As we all know Nelson Mandela passed away last week and was laid to rest on Monday. Mandela was more than an amazing leader and human being- he was a true inspiration and beacon of hope for the millions of oppressed South Africans during Apartheid. The courage he displayed during almost three decades in prison is truly remarkable and furthermore emphasizes his determination to stand up for what he believed in. One example of Mandela’s unmatched courage and determination occurred in a speech given in court while he was standing trial for charges of sabotage: “I have fought against white domination, and I have fought against black domination. I have cherished the ideal of a democratic and free society in which all persons live together in harmony and with equal opportunities. It is an ideal which I hope to live for and to achieve. But if needs be, it is an ideal for which I am prepared to die.” Mandela was sentenced to life in prison in 1964 on Robben Island- the South African version of Alcatraz. Mandela spent the next twenty- seven years imprisoned on that island where he was treated more like an animal than a man. While in prison, both Mandela’s mother and brother passed away, but he was not permitted to attend either of their funerals. Mandela never gave up hope on that island, and he never gave up his drive to make South Africa a nation for all citizens. He was finally released from prison in February of 1990, nine days after the ANC and the PAC (two black African nationalist groups) were allowed to organize in South Africa. It wasn’t much longer before Apartheid ended, and in 1994, Mandela was inaugurated as South Africa’s first democratically elected Over the last two months I have written three separate blogs on your agency’s identity and have recently made posts on Facebook andvGoogle+ wishing everyone a Merry Christmas. I chose to say Merry Christmas rather than happy holidays because it is what I believe in. Now, I’m certainly not putting myself in the shoes of Nelson Mandela because he is one great humanitarian. What I mean to say is that we as agency owners have an identity but are still reluctant to put that identity on a social media platform. We are all human beings and we all stand for something, so why not stand up and be proud for what we believe in? Recently I was in an airport traveling for business and I began to talk with a gentleman who is a vice president for regional insurance company. As we finished our conversation, he wished me a happy holiday, but I instead looked back at him and said Merry Christmas. I looked him in the eyes and told him that my parents have raised me to believe in God and because of that, we celebrate Christmas. He was Italian like myself, so I told him that I was sure his parents raised him the same way that mine did. It’s tough to have to wish everybody happy holidays because a small percentage of people do not celebrate Christmas, yet we have to worry about offending them. Just because something is politically correct does not make it The reason why I’m sharing this story with you is because the very next day I received a text from that same gentleman- wishing me a Merry Christmas. Now I’m not trying to be political or cause controversy, what I’m saying is that you and your agency need an identity and let people know what you stand for. If Nelson Mandela had neglected to stand up for what he believed in, just think about what South Africa Mandela’s funeral had millions of viewers from all around the world because he gave his life to something he believed in. Just think- one single man changed a country and affected the world with his beliefs, even though his beliefs were not politically correct at that time. I write this as a tribute to Nelson Mandela for standing up for his beliefs, and I only hope that Nelson Mandela will rest in peace.