The death of South African President Nelson Mandela last week didn't just mark the passing of a great leader. It also provided a clear illustration of how far so many of the world's surviving heads of state have to go to measure up to the example he set.
Mandela became so revered and respected – not only at home but around the world -- because he was honest and inclusive. He tried to find a place in his government for all sides – even including many of the people who imprisoned him. He gained power not through force, deception or intimidation, but by doing the right things for his people.
Now, contrast that with the so-called "leaders" who try to gain power by suppressing their citizens: Hussein, Assad, Putin, Yanukovych. Will those men ever be remembered with reverence and love by their people? Not on your life. Even in South Africa the current president, a black man, was booed and jeered when he took the stage at Mandela's memorial service. Why? Because his government is corrupt.
My hope is that there are future Mandelas out there among the citizens of Iraq, Syria, Russia and Ukraine – other people who will be able to overcome their current oppression to become tomorrow's leaders and steer their nations in a spirit of inclusiveness instead of fear. That would be Nelson Mandela's finest legacy.
Call and share your thoughts about Nelson Mandela's place in history.
I'm Bill Lamb and that's my Point of View.