Yesterday, Nelson Mandela turned 95 years old. I am in Cape Town and the energy here was electric. People were smiling, children were singing, and all colors held hands to show their respect for not only a leader of the civil rights movement in South Africa, but a global cultural icon. I went to Robben Island, where Mandela spent 18 of his 27 year prison sentence. A rainbow encircled the island and I couldn’t help but be completely awestruck. For me, it symbolized the beauty of moving forward, the necessity of healing old wounds and the importance of working together to abolish inequality around the globe. It was a day fit for such a special man.
Four years ago, the United Nations declared his birthday, July 18, Mandela Day. It calls upon the citizens of the world to dedicate 67 minutes of their time to service. The concept is broad and the options for participation are vast. Yesterday there was publicity from news outlets around the world… but what happens today? We here at the WORK magazine do not think that such a positive idea should be confined to one day of the year. In honor of a true hero, do something to bring positivity into the lives of others, your environment or your community today and as often as you can. Be a part of the movement. Tell your friends, tell your family, and let’s help to make this world a better place. Everyday could stand to be a little bit more like Mandela Day.

– Katherine Aplin

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