Today we mourn the passing of one of the World's greatest human beings.
I had the privilege of meeting him once briefly, and he shook my hand and asked how I was. I was 18 years old and completely in awe of the man stood in front of me.
I was telling one of the ladies on my recent yoga retreat about this very special moment in my life, when she said, "So he was completely present, as he spoke to you." And she in those words helped me understand why this brief interaction with him was so powerful for so many of us that day. For those few seconds, whilst his minders patiently propelled him through a crowd of adoring school children, he was completely focussed on each adolescent that he spoke to.
The next time I saw in real life was 5 years ago at the 46664 concert to commemorate his 90th Birthday at Hyde Park. I was struck by his frailty, and certainly wash't the only one to shed a few happy tears watching him smiling and enjoying the concert each time that the camera's showed a close up shot of him.
How someone who has spent 27 years in prison says the following upon his release, is beyond my grasp of the ability of a human to forgive.
"I greet you all in the name of peace, democracy and freedom for all. I stand here before you not as a prophet but as a humble servant of you, the people. Your tireless and heroic sacrifices have made it possible for me to be here today. I therefore place the remaining years of my life in your hands."
Tata Madiba, if there was a democratic system for a very select few to remain immortal, I think we all know who the people of South Africa and many other parts of the world's votes would go to.
Thank You for all that you did for our beautiful country.
You will never be forgotten.