Ain’t Gonna Play

Nelson Mandela.

We knew it was coming.

I wrote the reblogged post back when we first started hearing that his health was deteriorating. He is on my mind- and in the hearts of the world- tonight, and will remain there as long as his legacy, wisdom and adherence to the power of forgiveness and love over blind and ridiculous hatred are nurtured and developed.
He taught the world a lesson that we can’t ever forget. There aren’t a lot of people about whom you can legitimately say that the world would be a drastically different place if it were not for their presence among us.

He is one of those very few people.


I can’t even think clearly right now. My desire to present an adequate remembrance of a man I deeply respected isn’t going to be realized tonight.

I have to first figure out a way to follow his example and let go of anger- which, evidenced by my most recent new post- has taken up residence somewhere in the back of my skull.

Even as I mourn with the rest of the world- something (the ‘rest of the world’ part) which provides hope for the return to ideals that support community- I can’t help but feel a renewal of the rage I was feeling yesterday when writing about the nurtured narcissism that has been permitted to run rampant among us.

Seeing our current world leaders expressing their sadness at the loss of this great man, it’s impossible not to make comparisons. All are lacking. And this is our collective fault.

We know better. Nelson Mandela showed us how to be better. His words and actions must continue to be an example.

Almost 30 years ago, Little Stevie was inspired to do his part to create awareness about the great injustice of Apartheid. His actions were informed by the awareness that Nelson Mandela, and others who fought for human rights, brought into the world’s parlance.

Artists United Against Apartheid generated a new audience and helped to end the travesty of institutionalized racism in South Africa.
Since I originally wrote this post we have lost Lou Reed- and now Madiba himself. I suggested yesterday that we must start looking outside ourselves and our own narrow interests and start thinking as a community for the betterment- if not the very continuance- of us all.

On this sad evening I will take some time to reflect with love and respect upon the life of a man who embodied peace and the best motivations of humanity. I hope our current world leaders will be doing the same- and that their tributes tonight and in the days to come will prove to be motivators to follow his example rather than the self-serving lip service that is their regular practice.

Go in peace, Madiba.

Thank you.


This past weekend started off with tonnes o’ summer fun and ended with some heavy reflection.  There was a whole lot going on in the City and on the world stage that took me down some well-travelled paths of both hope and despair.

The 2013 Pride celebrations wrapped up successfully, with all indicators pointing to a good time having been had by all- including the Premier of the Province of Ontario, who participated in most of the events (‘our’ mayor having absented himself once again)- and the excitement is already building for next year’s World Pride Celebration.  A great finish to a week that saw some pretty cool stuff happening- basic human rights-wise– in the US.

Canada Day Spectaculars were held across the country- including in Calgary- where their mayor (a man definitely worth the title) asked his residents to take a day off from the flood clean up and…

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8 comments on “Ain’t Gonna Play

  1. May he rest in peace. What a courageous and inspiring man he was, Nelson Mandela. The best of the human spirit! –Angie.

  2. bethbyrnes says:

    I heard Chris Hayes say we had only three people like this (apart from J. Christ, of course): Gandhi, M. L. King and Mandela. They had the power to transform the world in abbreviated time. Sad that they can be counted on one hand.

    • colemining says:

      Extremely sad. And even more disturbing is the fact that I can’t think of one leader these days who deserves to be mentioned in the same sentence. Only three (arguably four. But if you’re adding JC you’d have to add the Buddha and a few others like that). One of the hosts on one of our local morning shows (he was one of the original VJs back on MuchMusic when it was an actual music television station), who isn’t necessarily the sharpest knife in the drawer, made the most insightful comment that I’ve ever heard drop from his lips this morning. He was talking about this phenomenon of coming together in remembrance and for a period of 48 hours (or thereabouts) the world being joined in solidarity. And then things return to the norms of self-involvement and political expediency. Exactly what I was saying/thinking all last evening. I think I owe Steve an apology for thinking him so thick for all these years.
      Thanks for reading. Hope your weekend is better than your past few weeks have been!

  3. Grace says:

    Wouldn’t that be miraculous, coming together as a world for 48 hours in solidarity of peace, love, compassion, and forgiveness? If we could just collectively “think” about “love,” as a world. Perhaps, miracles could happen. We can wish and hope. We can continue to shine some light into the dark. If only… one day soon.

    • colemining says:

      Grace- that would certainly be a wonderful thing. Unfortunately we didn’t even make it to 24 hours- let alone 48- before our career politicians shifted the focus back to their agendas.

      Thank you for the thoughts- and the visit! Enjoy the weekend!

  4. ChgoJohn says:

    I feel blessed to have lived when Martin Luther King, Jr., and Nelson Mandela walked on Earth. My worry is that they’re the last of their kind.

    • colemining says:

      John- I feel the same way. Both about the privilege of having shared part of my time on earth with an person like Nelson Mandela and the fact that I am very afraid that we are unlikely, in this day and age, to see anyone with a remotely comparable selfless devotion to the betterment of all humanity.
      Thanks for reading!

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