(I got a little behind this week and forgot to write my weekly blog post. I hope to be back next week. Until then, here is a little something I wrote the day so many celebrated the life of Nelson Mandela on December 10th, 2013.)

This morning I woke early and turned on the television in time to watch President Obama speak at the stadium-filled funeral for Nelson Mandela.

I think the potential of Nelson Mandela's message in life is a potential in every one of us. In our country, here in the United States of America, in these times of vast political differences, there are moments when I wonder whether or not we have lost our way. But, as I listened to President Obama speak I was reminded of the fact that we, too, still have the potential to overcome our differences here in our country.

We are such a young nation compared to the ancient civilizations that have come before. We have many battles left to fight before we are truly as one in purpose, as opposed to being represented as one by those we elect. America has risen as a superpower among the world of superpowers in a short amount of time. Whether America has the ability to let the ethical compass and moral values of humanity's best wisdom guide her remains to be seen. Only time will tell whether or not we as a people have earned all that we have been given.

Though we are not the guiding light, we are a guiding light, for we are capable of amazingly great achievements and in the shadows of this light, we are just as capable of horrible atrocities.

The path to where we have risen to this point in time has not been without incredible sacrifice, a sacrifice that is not in vain if the living do everything possible to live in recognition of all they have been given. If we are to raise ourselves above what lays below, then we must continually strive to live up to a higher purpose, a purpose that leads to a promised land of shared weight and reward; for we are no stronger than our weakest link and we are only as good as our greatest triumph.

The lesson for myself, in the life of Nelson Mandela, is a lesson in what we as human beings are capable of rising above in the relationships we have to one another. It is a lesson in what it takes to handle the anger we may feel toward what is done to us, and a lesson in choice as to whether or not we choose to pass that anger on to others. Nelson Mandela chose to absorb that anger and give in return a love for what the potential in any one of us can become. In doing so he didn't only unite a nation, he further united humankind.

Thank you, Nelson Mandela.