Nelson Mandela was on the news this morning. I find the story of South Africa, Nelson Mandela and Desmond Tutu fascinating and inspiring. The country was torn apart by racism, injustice and violence. Yet when given a chance, they chose to do a new thing. Rather than perpetuate the violence with vengeance, rather than let the accusations roll on down through the centuries, they chose to clear the air and offer amnesty for those who chose to tell the truth about what they had done through the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. Talk about thinking outside the box.
We could sure stand to learn a lesson from this in our country. Currently we seem to be stuck in a two party political system that puts party before people. We seem to be stuck with politics that have everything to do with power and little to do with justice and compassion. We are increasingly disillusioned with our government and cynical about our own power to do anything to affect change. What if we tried out some creative thinking? What if we encouraged our government officials to declare publicly and honestly that they would no longer vote according to party lines? Okay, maybe that one is a little unrealistic but how about this one: what if we, as constituents, declare that no one will be reelected who does not vote for a spending cap on campaign funds? What if "we the people" own up to the power we have in a democratic system, find what "we the people" agree upon instead of what divides us and demand such sensible change from our politicians? What if creativity, compassion and unity define the politics of "the people" regardless of what defines our politicians? Nelson Mandela and Desmond Tutu taught us that the road to change is not easy but a new thing can happen. How about we set aside cynicism and work together to change our world? Nah, it'll never work.
"But Jesus looked at them and said, 'For mortals it is impossible, but for God all things are possible.'” (Matthew 19:26, NRSV)