I was researching into governance and governance procedure when I stumbled of two contributions from global figures who became the most powerful personalities in the world at different times by virtue of holding the office of President on the United States at about 45 years old. William Jefferson Clinton served as the 42nd president of the United States and was in office from 1993 to 2001. He was 46 years old when he was elected and the third youngest president. On his part, Barack Hussein Obama, a Nobel Peace Prize Winner was the 44th president of the United States from 2009 to 2017, and was elected at the age of 42 years. President Donald John Trump is the 45th and current president of the United States. He is 73 years old.
To our young ones I ask: Are you despondent? Do you worry about your today and tomorrow? Do you see hope or you have given up? Are you a pessimist or an incurable optimist? These are very pertinent questions this time in history when the whole world is battling with too many challenges that appear to be making humanity helpless. On my part, I believe it is not yet past midnight and Nigeria will still be great. Former United States President Barack Obama sees hope. Obama spoke at the 16th Annual Nelson Mandela lecture in South-Africa last year. Here is an excerpt from Obama’s speech that will surely lift several souls:
FROM BARACK OBAMA: ”So, young people, who are in the audience, who are listening, my message to you is simple, keep believing, keep marching, keep building, keep raising your voice. Every generation has the opportunity to remake the world. Mandela said, “Young people are capable, when aroused, of bringing down the towers of oppression and raising the banners of freedom.” Now is a good time to be aroused. Now is a good time to be fired up. And, for those of us who care about the legacy that we honour here today – about equality and dignity and democracy and solidarity and kindness, those of us who remain young at heart, if not in body – we have an obligation to help our youth succeed. Some of you know, here in South Africa, my Foundation is convening over the last few days, two hundred young people from across this continent who are doing the hard work of making change in their communities; who reflect Madiba’s values, who are poised to lead the way.’’ – 16th Inaugural lecture of the Nelson Mandela Foundation
BILL CLINTON – DESCRIBED AS THE BEST PRESIDENT UNITED STATES EVER PRODUCED ‘’Easy to Say, Hard to Do. “That Man is a Hero Who Can Make a Friend Out of a Foe” – Bill Clinton
The 42nd President of the United States, former President William Jefferson Clinton, is described in the records of the Nelson Mandela Foundation as ’laying out a three-step plan that Western nations could use to help raise Africa out of poverty. It included ‘’relieving Africa’s foreign debt, increasing trade and helping to “unleash huge amounts of resources” for development. ‘’During Clinton’s administration, the United States enjoyed more peace and economic well-being than at any time in its history. ‘’He could point to the lowest unemployment rate in modern times, the lowest inflation in 30 years, the highest home ownership in the country’s history, dropping crime rates in many places, and reduced welfare rolls’’ Clinton it was that delivered the first Nelson Mandela Foundation Lecture in 2003.
“It takes a village to raise a child”. If we live in a global village we are all responsible for every child. If we truly understand the nature of the modern world then America and Europe and Australia and Asia and Africa are in the same village. And therefore, we are all part of our common endeavour to raise every child in the world. We have to be bound by simple strong values across every religious tradition. Everybody counts, everybody deserves a chance, everybody has a responsible role to play, we all do better when we work together. Our differences make life interesting. Look around this room. Pretty interesting looking room, I wish you could see yourselves. Life is a lot more interesting because of our differences but our common humanity matters more. The only way we will be able to honour and celebrate our differences in the world in which we live, is if our common humanity matters more. That is the lesson of Mandela’s monumental life. Ancient wisdom in modern form
My Bible says, “All the Law is fulfilled in one word even this, love thy neighbour as thyself”. The Koran says, “Requite evil with good and he who is your enemy will become your dearest friend”. The Talmud says, “That man is a hero who can make a friend out of a foe” in the Dhammapada the Buddhist says, “Never does hatred by hatred cease but by love alone”. Easy to say, hard to do. But we live in a world without walls and we cannot own the future of that world unless we share it……’’Ever since human beings first rose up on this earth on the African Savannah over a hundred thousand years ago, we have constantly struggled each in our own little way with fear and hatred and hurt, with selfishness and short-sightedness, we constantly struggled to get beyond the narrow confines of our own experience to the larger truth of our common humanity.
All of history in a way is the story of that struggle. In my lifetime only two people have made that personal journey as the leaders of their nations, in the rough and tumble world of politics, Mahatma Gandhi and his worthy successor, Nelson Mandela’’ – From the records of the Nelson Mandela Foundation.