Does America (the USA) need a Gandhi or Mandela at this time?

Barack Obama has compared himself to Gandhi and Mandela. He sees himself as fighting a cause such as theirs. I wonder how many Americans see this as the need of America?

In case anyone has forgotten, Apartheid was a system of racial segregation enforced by the National Party governments of South Africa between 1948 and 1994. Nelson Mandela fought against apartheid in South Africa and was willing to go to prison to fight for the rights of blacks in that country. He was and is a national hero.

Nelson MandelaNelson Rolihlahla Mandela was born in Transkei, South Africa on July 18, 1918. His father was Chief Henry Mandela of the Tembu Tribe. Mandela himself was educated at University College of Fort Hare and the University of Witwatersrand and qualified in law in 1942. He joined the African National Congress in 1944 and was engaged in resistance against the ruling National Party’s apartheid policies after 1948. He went on trial for treason in 1956-1961 and was acquitted in 1961.

Mohandas Gandhi was born on October 2, 1869 in British India. He became the pre-eminent political and ideological leader of India during the Indian independence movement. He pioneered a belief in resistance to tyranny through mass civil disobedience, based on total nonviolence. This concept helped India to gain independence, and inspired movements for civil rights and freedom across the world.

Martin Luther King patterned his life after that of Gandhi and used peaceful resistance to win the battle of civil rights for all Americans in the sixties in the United States.

Here is what Obama said recently when he compared himself to Gandhi and Mandel:

“The civil rights movement was hard. Winning the vote for women was hard. Making sure that workers had some basic protections was hard,” President Obama said at a fundraiser while talking about how difficult it is to bring about “change” in politics.

“Around the world, Gandhi, Nelson Mandela, what they did was hard. It takes time. It takes more than a single term. It takes more than a single president. It takes more than a single individual,” Obama said.

“What it takes is ordinary citizens who keep believe, who are committed to fighting and pushing and inching this country closer and closer to our highest ideals. And I said in 2008, ‘that I am not a perfect man and I will not be a perfect president.’ But I promised you, but I promised you, I promised you back then that I would always tell you what I believe. I would always tell you where I stood,” he also said at a fundraiser in NYC.

What I find missing here is a cause. The need we have in the USA today, doesn’t seem to be a political cause. I realize that there is still some poverty and that we need a better economy.  I realize that there are people who have needs, but I hold firmly to the notion that our greatest need isn’t a cause that can be corrected by a political movement. Our greatest need will be filled by recognizing the words of the apostle Paul in 1 Corinthians 13:

Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, buthave not love, I have become sounding brass or a clanging cymbal. And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned,[a]but have not love, it profits me nothing.

Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

Love never fails. But whether there are prophecies, they will fail; whether there are tongues, they will cease; whether there is knowledge, it will vanish away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part. 10 But when that which is perfect has come, then that which is in part will be done away.

11 When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child; but when I became a man, I put away childish things. 12 For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I shall know just as I also am known.

13 And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love.


About jlue

I am a grandmother of seven and I like to garden, read, study the Bible, and spend time with family. I am not very politically active, but very interested in who is elected to lead our country.
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One Response to Does America (the USA) need a Gandhi or Mandela at this time?

  1. Pingback: Delusions of Power: Obama is No Gandhi By Deepak Tripathi |

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