“What counts in life is not the mere fact that we have lived. It is what difference we have made to the lives of others that will determine the significance of the life we lead.”30 So said Nelson Mandela, political activist and South Africa’s first democratically elected president. His legacy was built on what benefitted others.
In his fight to promote justice and end human suffering, Mandela spent twenty-seven years in prison. For the first eighteen years, he was held in a cell with no bed or plumbing, assigned to do hard labor and regularly endured inhumane punishment.
In 1985, Mandela was offered release under the condition that he cease to engage in political activities. He refused. “I cannot and will not give up any undertaking at a time when I and you, the people, are not free. Your freedom and mine cannot be separated.”
Elijah similarly looked beyond his own life to a greater mission. Like him, we can act today to leave an impact long after we’re gone.