We all believe in the good side of humanity. We all call for peace and security. Yet, only a few of us devote their lives to such noble ends.
Unfortunately, not all people consider the preservation of humanity a priority. Humanity was constantly threatened throughout history by a wide array of man-made circumstances ranging from destructive wars, to racial discrimination, ethnic cleansing, to terrorism. However, several leaders and activists continued to serve as the custodians of peace and as the agents of change. The journeys of some of these inspirational leaders are worthy of recalling amid the increasing levels of violence.
Inspirational leaders who emerged as icons
Nelson Mandela (1918–2013):
Mandela, a well-known African leader, the founder of the African National Congress Youth League (ANCYL), and the former President of South Africa, made a name for himself due to his political activism against the apartheid
regime in South Africa.
Mandela is regarded as the icon of persistence thanks to his firm stand against the apartheid government at the time. He later called for drafting a non-racial constitution, and clandestinely rallied a movement of mass resistance to gain international support and momentum. Nevertheless, such a resistance did not reap the fruits of its success till many years later .
In 1985, while serving his life sentence, he facilitated talks between the ANCYL and the apartheid regime, until a compromise was
reached. Mandela’s journey, with its ups and downs, typically demonstrates how grit and a solid belief in a cause can motivate leaders to
Mahatma Gandhi (1869–1948):
Gandhi is considered the godfather of modern India for his groundbreaking political activism. Indian people gave him the nickname “Mahatma”, which translates to “great soul” in Hindi.
For people all over the globe, Gandhi is regarded as the icon of nonviolence, since he adopted the “Satyagraha”, which is a doctrine of peaceful and nonviolent protest aimed at achieving social and political progress, and readdressing wrongdoings in South Africa and India. He strongly rejected discriminatory practices from the British occupation against Indians in South Africa and in India. Consequently, he gained a popularity gained by no one else, and his influence went beyond all expectations, thanks to the success of his nonviolent movement in India.
Because of Gandhi’s human-centric efforts, the international community echoed his principles and consequently called for adopting a human-oriented approach.
Martin Luther King Jr. (1929–1968):
Martin Luther King Jr. was one of the world’s most prominent figures who put an end to the segregation of African American people in the United States. Owing to his inspirational speeches, the Civil Rights Act of 1964b and the Voting Rights Act of 1965 were drafted and were approved by the American Congress. One could say that Martin Luther King Jr. was a true American Hero not only to African Americans, but to humanity at large. His devotion to nonviolent resistance is subject to great admiration. In fact, he laid the grounds for equality and dispelled racial discrimination in all its forms.
A message from the youth of the world
To all the leaders and heroes who serve humanity, we, the youth, are thankful for your outstanding efforts to create a safer world where no one holds grudges or feels insecure
Thank you for making us believe that goodness still exists. Your legacies and success stories inspire us to take action and save mankind.