This file is the fruit of a sharing with mainly African
inmates at a Hong Kong prison service
about the Sunday Gospel of Oct 21, 2012 where Jesus says he came to serve rather than to be served
Any more names for this files? Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org (..political/civic names...not church names)
October 22, 2012 John W John W's previous articles
civic leaders - people who believed
in serving rather than in wanting to be served.
People who put their nation's interests
before their own personal interests
Yat-sen, first president of China (1866 – 1925)
Sun, who had grown increasingly frustrated by the conservative Qing government and its refusal to adopt knowledge from the more technologically advanced Western nations, quit his medical practice in order to devote his time to transforming China.
Karamchand Gandhi (1869-1948)
Gandhi's philosophy was not theoretical but one of pragmatism, that is, practicing his principles in real time. Asked to give a message to the people, he would respond, "My life is my message."
Mosaddegh, Prime Minister of Iran
"Yes, my sin is that I nationalized Iran's oil industry and discarded the system of political and economic exploitation by the world's greatest empire. This at the cost to myself, my family; and at the risk of losing my life, my honor and my property. With God's blessing and the will of the people, I fought this savage and dreadful system of international espionage and colonialism .... I am well aware that my fate must serve as an example in the future throughout the Middle East in breaking the chains of slavery and servitude to colonial interests"
Mandela, Africa's current elder statesman (b. 1918)
A prisoner for 27 years. Mandela describes how, as a D-group prisoner (the lowest classification) he was allowed one visitor and one letter every six months. Letters, when they came, were often delayed for long periods and made unreadable by the prison censors.
Nyerere, Africa's first elder statesman
Despite his failings, Nyerere was revered by progressive Africans. When they talked of Tanzania, they talked, in effect, of Nyerere - the simple, unassuming former schoolteacher, untainted by corruption or personal scandals and with a fondness for Mateus rosé. Bishops want him canonised
Luther King, US civil rights leader (1929-1968)
"All I'm saying is simply this, that all life is interrelated, that somehow we're caught in an inescapable network of mutuality tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly affects all indirectly. For some strange reason, I can never be what I ought to be until you are what you ought to be. You can never be what you ought to be until I am what I ought to be. This is the interrelated structure of reality"
Moringe Sokoine: the forgotten hero of Tanzania
He was the epitome of a people’s leader, embodying the virtues of integrity, simplicity and dedication to the cause of the nation. He was a leader who combined effectiveness and respect for the popular will. He was incorruptible and dynamic, always striving to defend the interests of the Tanzanian people
Aung San Suu Kyi, heroine of Burma (b. 1945) One of her most famous speeches was Freedom From Fear, which began: "It is not power that corrupts, but fear. Fear of losing power corrupts those who wield it and fear of the scourge of power corrupts those who are subject to it." She also believes fear spurs many world leaders to lose sight of their purpose. "Government leaders are amazing", she once said. "So often it seems they are the last to know what the people want."