What Would Mandela Do?

I have been in Singapore for 2 weeks now and it has been an amazing experience so far. I have met up with old friends (thanks Tom and Rob) and met many new friends (too many to name here but thanks everyone!).  I have met people here from England, Denmark, Germany, Poland, Spain, Australia, Ireland, Philippines, Indonesia, Czech Republic, India, Singapore, and I am probably missing a few other countries.…apologies.  Everyone I have met has been very warm and welcoming which has made the transition here easier than expected.

However, during these 2 weeks a lot has occurred in the world that has made me sad. I can’t remember a period of time in my lifetime where so much tragedy has continued to unfold at a pace that seems to be accelerating.  I feel like these types of tragedies used to occur at a rate of about once or twice a year, and now it feels like they are occurring once or twice a week.  Singapore is considered to be one of the safest countries/cities in the world; however since the attack in Nice, France, the government in Singapore has pledged additional security in busy areas because they say it is not a matter of ‘if’, but rather ‘when’, an act of terror will occur here.

It’s important to meet people that are different than you and listen to what they believe and understand. We are too quick to make assumptions about people based off of preconceived notions and stereotypes.  I think if we all took the time to reach out to those that are different from us and really listen to what they believe and why they believe it, we would gain a better understanding and this world could become a better place.

July 18th was Mandela Day in honor of Nelson Mandela.  According to Wikipedia, “Mandela day is a global call to action that celebrates the idea that each individual has the power to transform the world, the ability to make an impact” (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mandela_Day). People like Nelson Mandela don’t come along every day, but I feel like we are desperately in need of a leader like that.  I say this with the national political conventions underway in the US.  We may never have a figure quite like Nelson Mandela again, but I hope that each of us strives to stand up for what we believe in, that we can come together as a global community, learn to compromise, and understand that we all have the desire to be happy and protect those that we care about.

Let’s change the world, let’s make an impact….be the change!


  1. Great reflections, Franklin. I’m glad to know that your transition has been a smooth one. On Mandela Day, the Upper Providence site hosted a celebration as part of Diveristy and Inclusion Week at GSK and also acknowledged the many atrocities that have happened lately with a moment of silence. Continue to soak in the diverse experiences on your PULSE assignment and enjoy this special time.

  2. Wonderful and inspiring post, Franklin. When we were in South Africa last year we learned all about Mandela and were very inspired.
    Have a great time there!

  3. Very well said. Our world is in a time of flux, when there is too much focus on separation, fear, and anger. We need to come together to honor our differences, recognize our similarities, and heal. We can and must do better than this. It sounds simple, but in so many choices in life, it comes down to either love or fear. We must start choosing love more, and fear so much less.

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