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Honor Nelson Mandela’s birthday. It takes just 67 minutes.

 

“It always seems impossible until it’s done.” – Nelson Mandela

Today is Nelson’s Mandela’s 95th birthday. It’s also been recognized as International Mandela Day, a day of tribute to his legacy of doing good and making thelogo_md world a better place. According to the  official website, on Mandela Day  we focus on his life’s work and that of his charitable organizations to ensure that legacy continues forever. I will spend his birthday presenting a job search workshop to the Women’s Mentoring Network, a career, educational and personal resource that promotes economic empowerment for low-income women in Stamford, CT.

It was my experience growing up in South Africa that compelled me to become a career counselor. I grew up during apartheid, a time when the majority of South Africans were not seen as worthy of education, let alone a career. It was this injustice that was the source of my inspiration to do what I do today.

The first democratic elections in South Africa took place in 1994 and Nelson Mandela was elected president. That same year, I was working in an under-resourced inner city school in Johannesburg where I set up the first career guidance center that the school had ever had. It was a riotous and dangerous time in South African and when there weren’t bomb scares, there were marches all over town and it wasn’t very safe to go outside. But inside, it was really was exciting to have the chance to be working with this future generation of South Africans, giving them the tools to forge a career path for themselves, despite the circumstances in which they were born into.  In a way, we had our own hopeful mini-revolution going on inside that school.  Not long after that, I was lucky to be present on the day Nelson Mandela was inaugurated as president, and the Apartheid era ended.

Now, almost 20 years later, I can’t think of a better way to honor Mandela than by participating in this important global celebration of his legacy of making the world a better place.  Happy Birthday Madiba!

Mandela Day is a call to action for people everywhere to help make the world a better place, one small step at a time, just as Mr Mandela did. Mandela gave 67 years of his life fighting for the rights of the people in his country. On Mandela Day, people all over the world are invited to honor the legacy of Nelson Mandela by spending 67 minutes dedicating themselves to positive, peaceful action. I will be spending it helping to guide some very ambitious and hopeful women. What can you do?   

Here are 67 ways to change the world 

And after this day is over, Make every day a Mandela day. And if you are seeking a purpose or a new career path, ask yourself, “What is the source of your inspiration for the difference that you are trying to make in the world. Maybe that is the seed of a new career.

“The greatest glory in living lies not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall.” – Nelson Mandela

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