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July 18th is Mandela Day: Make it Special by Helping Others!
Happy Birthday, Nelson Mandela!
July 18th is the birthday of one of my heroes, Nelson Mandela, who is 91 years old today. I pray that he lives at least till 120 in great health! Ganbatte Madiba!
Nelson Mandela on Wikipedia
An extraordinary human being, even at 91, Mandela's still thinking of others and asks us to make a difference in the lives of those we know could use some help.
Do something nice for others today! No matter how small the contribution, it matters. Mandela gave 67 years of his life to the anti-apartheid struggle, and today he is asking us to connect and spend 67 minutes on helping others.
Check out CNN on Nelson Mandela
In this CNN article it says that for Mandela and his wife, Mandela Day "is a way of demystifying that only extraordinary people can make a difference."
That's right! I read this as a call to remember that saving the world begins at home.
Let's be good to ourselves, our families, neighbors and all the people we meet. And remember that no matter how tough life might seem at moments, there are others whose lives are a lot harder, whose burden is way heavier.
On Thursday I went to Yasukuni Shrine with some of my old buddies. These former tokkotai (Special Forces Unit) members of the Jinrai Butai (Thunder Gods Corps), all volunteered to be pilots of an Ohka, a manned rocket-powered aircraft, during the Greater East Asia War, as World War II is called here. When the war ended on August 15th, 1945, some of these volunteer pilots survived.
Morinoske TV show and manga on Ohka Pilots
Since then, for 64 years, they have been coming to Yasukuni Shrine to visit their friends, who lost their lives in the war, and who are all enshrined here, at Yasukuni.
Compared to last year, our group shrank a lot. Some people died, others were too ill to come out. One of one the former Ohka pilots, 88 years old, and struggling with Parkinson's, was telling me how he washes the bathtub and cuts up the veggies with his shaking hands. " I am great at chopping up pumpkins! " He is living with his wife, who is pretty much bedridden, so he has to do all the shopping, cleaning and preparation for cooking. The wife still manages to get up and cook for the two. " I tell you, old people caring for other old people is one tough predicament."
Recently he visited another former pilot at the hospital. As he stood at his friend's bedside, he was shaking not only from the Parkinson's but from the sudden bouts of laughter: The two old friends laughed uncontrollably as neither could tell who was sicker, the one hospitalized or the visitor. One sick person visiting another sick one. An ill old man caring for his even sicker wife and still going to the other side of town to see his friend. As we walked around the lanterns at Yasukuni Shrine, we also laughed so hard that tears kept running down our cheeks. "Life is funny," he said" as long as you look at it that way. I have so much trouble every day but I still try to crack a joke here and there. "
We all know elderly people who are struggling with health issues, loneliness, money trouble. Give your old friends a call and make them laugh! It's good for your health and theirs and the world. I'm sure Madiba would agree.
As his wife, Graca Machel says, "everyone can be a little like Mandela if you care about others, you care about their wellbeing, you want them to have a real smile, they feel worthy, they are loved, they are cared and that's what you can do."
xoxo JK

【2009/07/18 16:21】 | etc. | トラックバック(0) | コメント(0)
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