Today is Nelson Mandela's 94th bday! Quickie history lesson: Nelson Mandela was South Africa’s first Black president and a long-time opponent of the country's race-dividing apartheid. In honor of Nelson Mandela International Day, which coincides with his birthday, the UN and Nelson Mandela Foundation are asking each of us to devote 67 minutes of our time to helping others.
67 refers to the number of years Mandela served his country as lawyer, activist, political prisoner, and president. 67 minutes might sound like a long time, but I’ve spent more time than that stalking hotties on Facebook this morning alone. Whether you’ve got a few minutes or all day to give back, here are some easy ways to celebrate Nelson Mandela’s inspiring life and selfless work. If you’ve only got a few minutes, pick one near the top of the list. Do ‘em all and your time will total 67 minutes!
+Smile at a stranger (seconds)
We see so many people in passing every day and each of them is an opportunity to share a smile. If you’re feeling especially bold, throw in a, “Have a great day!” I like to do this whenever people exit an elevator. Today of all days, don't let your elevator rides be awkward and silent!
+Tweet about Nelson Mandela International Day (1 Minute)
The Internet is one of the most powerful tools we have for spreading good word! Let others know about Nelson Mandela International Day so they too can be inspired do good. Don't forget to use the hashtag #MandelaDay.
+Like Mandela Day on Facebook (1 Minute)
If you FB more than you Tweet, fan the Official Mandela Day page to get updates throughout the day and to share photos of yourself reppin' Mandela!
+Feed Someone (5 Minutes)
If you pass a homeless person, offer him or her something to eat. Maybe even ask what his or her favorite food is and buy it from a nearby grocery store. I do this often and it never goes unappreciated.
+Ask Someone How They're Doing (7 Minutes)
The question “How are you?” has been somewhat devalued. We say it so often in passing when it is actually one of the most meaningful things we can ask each other! Today, ask your friends how they are and stick around to hear their answers! If their responses are short, ask them how they really are -- good or bad. Listen to them speak before you chime in about your life.
+Call/Text a Friend Just To Say Something Nice (8 Minutes)
We often call our friends in times of distress, but today, call or text a friend just to say, “I love you,” or, “You’re beautiful,” or, “I’m really glad we know each other.” We could all stand to feel more loved; you may even cheer someone up who really needs it.
+Get Tested (20 Minutes)
A great way to give back to yourself and those you’re involved with is to know your status. There are free HIV testing locations in most cities, and results for rapid tests only take 20 minutes!
+Donate Clothes To Charity (25 minutes. Driving not included!)
It's time to say goodbye to those jeans you only keep around because you hope you will someday fit into them again. (Give it up! You bought them in eighth grade!) Donate your old clothes to a local homeless shelter or charity organization. Afterwards, if there's a hole in your closet just begging to be filled, check out the latest from 466/64 Fashion. Named after Mandela's prison number (he was once sentenced to life for his civil rights activism), the brand donates 7-9% of every purchase to the 46664 Foundation -- an organization dedicated to HIV/AIDS Awareness and upholding Mandela's humanitarian legacy.
As a Zimbabwean, I am especially grateful for Mandela's work in our neighboring country. It is Mandela's hope that we will celebrate his legacy every day. Why just 67 minutes when we could be kind 24/7?
67 Ways To Change The World
67 ways to change the world on Mandela Day
Tweet about #MandelaDay
Show your support for Nelson Mandela Day simply by tweeting about it!