Nelson Mandela lead South Africa out of a time of oppression, injustice and inequality. He showed them the way of forgiveness. It's a lesson that Indiana State University professor, Dr. Isaac Land, says all of us can learn from.
"I think what we can remember is the example that he set," said Land. "We all live in a world with conflicts and frustrations and injustices. The idea that we can all give a little bit more and that human nature still has the capacity to surprise us on the up side, not just to show the worst in our nature, but to show a capacity for forgiveness."
Mandela spent nearly half of his adult life in prison. When he was freed from jail, he eventually went on to become president and helped lead the country during a trying time. Land says instead of trying to fill that void, others should simply follow in his footsteps.
"It's a terrible loss and it's not really clear who can ever replace a figure like that but I think it's an inspiring example," said Land. "We don't' all face South Africa's specific problems but we all face the problem of overcoming the past and we can all think of examples of countries that have really failed to do that or failed to balance the needs of peace and the needs of justice. That's really what he tried to do."
Mandela's example might remind you of another man that lead his country during a hard time.
"He certainly came to power at an incredibly difficult time and his main thought was not to vengeance but to reconciliation and in that sense I think he has a lot in common with Lincoln. You can say of both of them that they faced impossible tasks but that didn't stop them from trying."
Mandela died last Thursday in his home. He was 95-years-old.