Four days have passed and I’m still thinking about Mr. Mandela or Madiba (the name of his clan) as some are beginning to call him. But I have also been thinking about other people. I mentioned Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Luther King, and Malcolm X in a previous post, but right after I published it, I thought, ” How could I have forgotten Steve Biko or Winnie Mandela?” Yes, she fell from grace, but she, Biko, and so many others continued the fight to end apartheid and even died for it, during Mr. Mandela’s imprisonment. So as we celebrate his life and accomplishments, let’s remember those who never received any accolades but fought the good fight. That day in 1990, when he took that long walk to freedom, I like to think, he walked in their footsteps. Yesterday, I heard Mr. Mandela say in a sound bite, “I’m no angel.” I didn’t hear all of the interview but that stood out, and made me think of so many other people who are considered heroes, revolutionaries, and freedom fighters to some and are vilified by others. Yasser Arafat, Che Guevara, Fidel Castro, Chris Hani, Yitzhak Rabin, Lech Walesa, Robert Mugabe, and Benazir Bhutto, are a few that come to mind. Controversial? Yes, but they all shared a commonality. At one time in their lives, they sparked a revolution, spoke out against the status quo, or evoked change, or all three. Speaking cost them a lot and some of them paid with their lives. During his trial in 1963, Nelson Mandela said that to end apartheid, he was prepared to die. How many of us believe in something so strongly that we are prepared to die? In the next few days, world leaders and dignitaries will descend upon South Africa to pay their respects and eulogize him. 95,000 people are expected to attend his memorial service tomorrow with millions viewing. How will you remember him? And don’t forget to check out the biopic Mandela: The Long Walk to Freedom and read his biography of the same title.