Nelson Mandela, the living legend, has died and will no doubt now become the true legend he was always destined to be. Mandela is possibly one of the very few human beings who almost ascended to sainthood in his own lifetime. Such is the measure of the man and his place in history. One can only hope that his canonisation in death does not mutate into some sentimental hero worship rather than a salutary beacon of the need for us to route out man’s inhumanity to man. He is such an ikon – logo even – that the image has always been in danger of obscuring the message. World leaders stand before their podiums taking this opportunity to deliver the most poignant soundbite, lauding him as a great man, a light extinguished, a true hero, whilst choosing to conveniently ignore his clarion call for justice, freedom, and equality for all people of all race or faith. If those very same world leaders were to earnestly seek to walk in his footsteps and follow his example who knows what changes could take place in our fractured world. This is of course, sadly, unlikely. The Mandela’s of this world will always emerge as sober reminders of what we can be at our best as human beings. However, they are few and far between and inevitably the cost of walking with them, heeding what they teach us, would seem to be too great. And so we venerate them in stone and glass, we wear them on our chests as slogans and logos, but we keep them at arms length lest we see how far we have fallen from what we were all called to be. Rest in peace Nelson Mandela and thank you for showing us what we are all called to be . . .