Nelson Mandela was no saint. He participated in violence and he had his own personal failings. However, his great achievement came in helping bring about a peaceful transition to majority rule. I remember briefly visiting South Africa in the 1970s. I remember the whites only signs outside public restrooms and the poverty in the urban housing areas. It was an offensive society where privilege was based on skin colour. Church leaders – black and white, liberal white political leaders and other progressive leaders all made their contribution to change. Mandela was in prison then but he emerged to become a powerful symbol of national unity in a divided country. Internationally he won respect as someone who set aside the right to be bitter and filled with hate. Instead he pointed towards peace and reconciliation. For that he deserves the many accolades he has received worldwide since his passing. ” Long Walk To Freedom” is a celebration of his life.