A giant has passed away.

The death of Mandela will send South Africa deep into mourning and self-reflection 18 years after he led the country from racial apartheid to inclusive democracy. But his passing will also be keenly felt by people around the world who revered Mandela as one of history’s last great statesmen, and a moral paragon comparable with Mohandas Gandhi and Martin Luther King.

I wonder how different I’d be if I hadn’t become an adult in the 1980s, when the tide truly began to turn in South Africa. Nelson Mandela might be the greatest political figure who lived during my life. Rest in peace.