UMass Dartmouth Chancellor Divina Grossman's Message on the Passing of Nelson Mandela
Like many of you, I felt profound sadness over Nelson Mandela's passing. His fight for equality, human rights and the dignity of all regardless of race or color, and his remarkable forbearance and forgiveness after 27 years of imprisonment and deprivation offer inspiring lessons for all of us.
As we contemplate the heroic life he led, let us reflect on Mandela's words in his autobiography, Long Walk to Freedom: Autobiography of Nelson Mandela.
"I am fundamentally an optimist. Whether that comes from nature or nurture, I cannot say. Part of being optimistic is keeping one's head pointed toward the sun, one's feet moving forward. There were many dark moments when my faith in humanity was sorely tested, but I would not and could not give myself up to despair. That way lays defeat and death."
In mourning Mandela's demise and his myriad gifts to humankind, heeding his wise counsel let us keep our heads pointed toward the sun and our feet moving forward.