Nelson Mandela passed away yesterday. He was the most universally admired man I can think of and, as the Onion put it in their obituary: "Certainly people have felt a sense of sorrow at the deaths of politicians in the past, but Nelson Mandela’s death is the only one on record that people everywhere unanimously agree has left the world notably worse off."
A couple of years ago, I read Playing with the Enemy, later renamed Invictus to match the movie made based on it and starring Matt Damon and Morgan Freeman. If you have some time and would like to learn more about this amazing man, I highly recommend it. Read my goodreads review to get a taste of it.
I enjoyed this heart-warming story of people paying it forward in small-town Idaho restaurant. Emmett is actually pretty close to where my in-laws live, so maybe I'll have to go check it out some day.
Rosalee Ramer is the newest person on my list of people to watch. Rosalee is 16 years old, a professional monster truck driver - yes, you read that right - and got a 2160 on her SATs, including a near-perfect 780 on the math portion. You can watch a video of Rosalee driving her monster truck here.
Archbishop Desmond Tutu worked alongside Nelson Mandela in South Africa, fighting apartheid and speaking out for equality. (You can read Archbishop Tutu's beautiful eulogy of Mandela here.) I loved his recent book God Is Not a Christian: And Other Provocations (read my goodreads review, which consists mostly of amazing quotes from the book, here). Recently, I ran across another quote by him that struck me with its optimism and infinite possibilities:
"Do your little bit of good where you are;
it’s those little bits of good put together that overwhelm the world."
Little bits of good are manageable. I can do little bits of good. You can do little bits of good. And maybe that's enough to affect some change for good in this world.