It is important to value and honour the best qualities in Nelson Mandela but not to make the mistake of deifying him or seeing him as more than human. Like Gandhi he had within him capacities for the best and the worst of human nature – he was human and not exceptional and that makes the best of what he was more admirable given his experiences and his nature.
Mandela in his time was a terrorist, a womaniser, a man with a temper, an autocrat and obstinate … he was no saint and it is the best of his behaviour which reflects more brightly when seen against the darker side.
We live in a time when people seek to project the best and the worst of human behaviour onto others, onto single figures and in the doing we make a mockery of them and of human nature in general.
Admire Mandela but admire him as a flawed human being with enormous weaknesses as well as strengths for therein lies the ability of such notable figures, to truly inspire us all.