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MANDELA
by Paul Curtis
04/20/10
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What makes Mandela a great man?
Was it that he opposed apartheid?
So what?
He wasn’t alone in that
That doesn’t make him great
That would make half the world great

What makes Mandela a great man?
Was it that he led the ANC’s military wing?
So what?
Not really the stuff of greatness
Just another bloody terrorist

What makes Mandela a great man?
Was it his twenty seven years in jail?
So what?
Murder and rape will achieve that
That doesn’t make him great

What makes Mandela a great man?
Was it that he symbolized the struggle?
A beacon against apartheid
So what?
That doesn’t make him great

What makes Mandela a great man?
Is it that he’s a nice silver haired old man?
With a warm affable smile
So what?
That could be my granddad

What makes him a great man?
Was it that he was the first black president?
Of a free South Africa
Very historic
But that alone doesn’t make him great

What makes Mandela a great man
Is his humility
His humanity
He could have spoken in vengeance
Yet he spoke of reconciliation
He could have evened the score
Balanced the books
For black South Africa
He could have unleashed
A black tide of death and destruction
Upon the white minority
Pay back
But he did not
Instead he spoke forgiveness
He could have been a Mugabe
And never relinquished power
But chose to serve only one term
Then handed on the baton
His work was done
His greatness set in stone


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