Archives for December 2013

Mandela

“Money is not something to go mad about … Money is for food and clothes and comfort … to make happy the lives of children. Money is for security and for dreams and for hopes and for purposes.”

-Alan Paton from “Cry, The Beloved Country”

In lieu of news coverage on Mandela’s life and death, as a memorial I re-read Alan Paton’s excellent book, “Cry, The Beloved Country”. It is set in post WW2 South Africa and is a fictional tale of an old Anglican Priest of Zulu descent who goes to the great city of Johannesburg to find his wayward son.

It is a story of conflicting culture, of societal breakdown, of rebuilding broken trust. When the owners of the mines were exploitative of the native miners, the wealth they gained was stained, troubled, and short-sighted.

It is always tempting to take too much from the land and from workers, but good leadership requires us to consider the plight of everyone–to put ourselves in the another’s shoes and act in the best interest of the whole. This is the essence of safety–protecting the value entrusted to us in lives and material.