"He no longer belongs to us. He belongs to the ages"*

Very few influenced our generation as much as Nelson Mandela .

It was somewhere in the end of our adolescence, when his adventure was dominating the news’ headlines. The same was happening in our everyday routine, through the amazing concert of Amnesty International in the Olympic Stadium of Athens and the continuous appearances in MTV of Tracy Chapman singing Marley’s “Get Up Stand Up”, Gabriel singing for “Biko” and our youth’s heroes, Springsteen, Bono and Reed participating in Van Zandt’s “Sun City” (the first maxi single I had ever bought with my own money :)

Many years later,  I met his words in a company I worked for, Added Value, in one of our mottos which I will try to never forget: “Vision without action is only dreaming, action without vision is only passing time, vision with action can change the world”.

A few years ago, when I decided to get involved in politics believing that I could help to change a little bit the world around us, it was again one of his phrases that led me to try another more effective path: “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world” he had said in one from his famous speaches.

Even recently,  when I was trying to put in words what bothers me so much in the greek society, I fell on his words again: “For to be free is not merely to cast off one' s chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others.”

We shouldn’t moan for Mandela’s loss. Instead, if we want to really honour him, we should personally contribute so as to ensure that our generation offers the world more people of his qualities and values.

Rest in peace Nelson Mandela, we thank you a lot.

*The title comes from Barack Obama's tribute to Nelson Mandela, who died yesterday.

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