I believe that it is not his legacy to South Africa or the world that is the most important thing. Yes there is no doubt that he was a great man who did great things. But he too is human and in between all those good deeds are bad deeds too. He was not perfect and we should remember that.
For me it should be his legacy to his family and friends that is important. What memories has he left them with? Tomorrow the world will wake up and the 10 days of mourning and ceremony will be over. Slowly the news stations will start reporting on other world events and in a years time we will all go "Oh my has it really been a year since Madiba passed?".
His family and friends will feel his passing more keenly than the rest of world and will mourn him for far longer. Did he leave them good memories? He lost 27 years with them while in prison. It isn't easy to bridge years that are lost. Events missed. Milestones passed. One can only hope he had chance to make memories with his close ones in the 23 years he had with them since his release. Even though they still had to share him with the World and only really did have him at his weakest... tragic.
It makes me wonder what memories my loved ones will have of me should I pass tomorrow. Will they be good ones? Or ones of times lost, milestones passed and events missed. Will they have good memories to share with each other? Will they know how much I loved them and treasured them? Will they understand that sometimes I had to make decisions that may have hurt them but that I too had to love myself?
Too myself I ask what have I achieved.... Have I achieved the hopes and dreams I had 23 years ago.... a fresh faced Standard 6, starting out in High School. The world at my feet. My future in my hands. Or did I get too caught up in the drudgery of surviving. Sadly I think this is the case for many of us. We are so busy just trying to survive we truly forget to live. Live with our whole hearts. Embracing all we can on our time on this planet, no matter how long or short it may be.
So today I make a promise to myself to fulfil as many of my dreams as I can while I am alive. To take those chances presented to me, no matter how crazy! This will make me a better person and in turn will mean that the memories and legacy I leave behind for my family will be happy ones they will pass on. I know I am not perfect and I hope I never am. Imperfections leaves me room to grow and learn. I relish the challenge and look forward to embracing my future.
As ultimately while I want to leave my loved ones with happy memories, I also want to live the life I deserve. I only have one shot at it... and I don't want to have any regrets at the end... then it will be too late.