Mandela Day

July 18, 2009

Nelson Mandela has used his 91st birthday to launch annual Mandela Day – “a global call to action for people to recognize their individual power to make an imprint and help change the world around them for the better.” Each year the day will be commemorated by calling on people to do 67 minutes of good for the community, 67 representing the number of years since he began his campaign for human rights for every South African.

“In recent years, Mandela has stressed that if his legacy is to live, others must take up his causes. His Mandela Foundation, which houses some of his archives and supports community building projects, has switched from a logo featuring his face to one featuring his hands, reflecting his desire to shift the focus from himself to the work ahead.

“It is in your hands to create a better world for all who live in it,” Mandela said in a message endorsing Mandela Day. “Our struggle for freedom and justice was a collective effort. Mandela Day is no different.” ” (Source : Associated Press)

Initiatives such as these are inspirational in their intent to galvanise the masses to “do good”, and inspirational as a form of leadership by example. Rather than glorifying his birthday as a celebration to himself, there is something in the choice to use that attention and recognition and turning this into a call for action.

67 minutes x 61 million UK citizens = 4087 million minutes. 7 years worth of time put towards action for good all on one day.


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