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Things the world can get together over (or Heaven on Earth part 2.5)

July 1, 2008

(image: Mail & Guardian Online)

I’m sitting on the couch watching vh1’s “Top Songs of the ’90s” and we’re on number 6, which happens to be Sir Mix-a-Lot’s “Baby Got Back.” Maybe that’s important, maybe not…but I digress. Number 2 is U2’s One“; much more fitting and beautiful.

The next show on vh1, though, is 46664, the concert for Nelson Mandela. And I’ll admit, I never really had an appreciation for Nelson until I read “The Pursuit of Happyness” by Chris Gardner. Yes, the same Chris Gardner as I got a picture with and posted right here and here. If there’s one book that could successfully guide you or me or anyone through life (besides the obvious one), this would definitively be it. It’s one of those stories that will give you chills as you read it. Hang on every word, and cherish his story, because it’s more than likely a far cry from any story that you will have to live out personally.

And now Chris is one of Wall Street’s most successful investment bankers, and a banker with a mission (I just can’t find a link to it). He’s a guy who’ll tell you exactly what he believes, and as such he’s one whom you will trust from the outset. And when he credits Nelson Mandela as an outstanding influence in his own life, it’s worth another look.

Even if you have no real idea of everything Nelson’s been through (unfortunately, mostly speaking to myself), the words “Nelson Mandela” still hold an intrigue and an inspiration hardly rivaled by any others in any language. He lives the idea of Heaven on Earth everyday, constantly trying to improve not only his own life but the lives of everyone around him. The world is in each of our hands each and every day. And if you set out every day to “spread love,” you just might be able to change the world (h/t EJ). I’d like to say the world could use thousands more Nelson Mandelas, but that might be dangerous. I don’t know if this world could hold that much love at one time.

But if any of us could even approach Nelson-levels of love, the world would certainly be a much better place. A little closer to its perfection, Heaven.

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