#Article (Archive)

A little look back

Aug 26, 2011, 12:44 PM

In the age that we live in, quite a number of us are notorious for taking a lot of the liberties  and freedom we have for granted, We believe we have earned it and it is our basic right. I for one can testify to being guilty of that Yet some or most of these afore mentioned liberties which were unimaginable to generations before us did not just happen or land easily on our laptops, the were fought for by the people who came before.

Each day, the average youth is usually preoccupied with living the ‘life’ as we know it with advancing technologies, ever evolving fashion, the endless chase for the elusive ‘dollar’ or others ranging from marriage and raising a family or pursuing a career, the list not exhaustive. Sometimes, we forget to take a desperately needed look at the past, from whence we came and the foundation of who we are today.

Yet there is a kind of past so vivid that it cannot be ignored. One where patriots fought for emancipation and freedom as we know it today, the kind of legacy left  by said individual that will forever be part of the core of history.

Nelson Mandela, lawyer and human rights activist and former president of South Africa is a true African hero who was not beyond suffering to the point of being incarcerated for almost three decades, leaving on the outside, a wife and kids, his entire family. Yet he realized that what he and his compatriots were fighting for was bigger than a person and beyond that time. They persevered for South Africa, through their sweat and blood they waged a raging battle against apartheid raged from which today’s South Africa has emerged. And with it the legenday status of Mr. Mandela, a true son of Africa.

Mahatma Ghandi is perhaps one of the most notable civil rights activist and a man who to this day even after his death holds a lot of respect not just in India and pakistan but all around the world. With his peaceful protests and his belief that violence was not the key to solving any problems, he reached out to the masses. Through fasting and his belief in showing resistance to tyranny through civil disobedience, he led India to independence. He was truly prolific and hs birthday is marked annually as the international day of non-violence

Ironically, Ghandi and Nelson Mandela are linked even if they were separated by time and geography. Ghandi had been an expatriate lawyer in South After in his younger days and it was in that very land that it is believed that he initially practices non-violent disobedience in his quest to help his comrades Even though he was brutally gunned down, to this day who he was and what he stood and fought for is ever vivid.

Jesse Jackson walked alongside Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jnr. On the road to emancipation. A Baptist minister and civil rights activist too, he also campaigned for the end to segregation and for equal rights for blacks in the united states. Even though he failed twice in his quest to become the first black president of the USA, the footprints he left in the sands of time cannot be swept away by the today’s turbulence.

There are soo many of them, all determined, all persistent and who made the ultimate sacrifice, one that should never be taken lightly. And even though I have only mentioned a few, more will be given due coverage in subsequent issues. “In order to know where we are going, we need to know where we came from”. There is nothing more true.

So ever so often, let us take a truly deserving look back down the road that led to right here. Then the things we take for granted will be ever more meaningful.