Let the GOP (primary) games begin in ol’ Mississippi
Amandla is a Xhosa and Zulu word that means ‘power’. Many of us who live outside of African nations first heard the word used as a rallying cry during the anti-apartheid movement in South Africa. It was also during that time, many of us who were coming of age became aware of Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela — who, at age 95, after spending much of his life being the greatest embodiment of peace and non-violent resistance.
In recent months we’ve heard numerous reports about Mr. Mandela’s health and how he battled bravely against his illnesses. His strength and ability to hold on even in bleak and dire circumstances should not have come as a surprise to anyone who recalls the dignified fighting spirit of the man who was punished for challenging his country’s system of oppression towards the majority black population and for battling racial apartheid that lasted for decades after Europeans staked claim to the nation and its resources. A lawyer, Mandela used his knowledge of the law and the power of his moral convictions to organise his people and supporters to stand against the racist regime’s discriminatory policies.
After being convicted of treason against the white South African government for being a ‘terrorist’, Madiba — his clan name, named after an eighteenth century Thembu tribe chief — spent nearly three decades in prison.
If you want to make peace with your enemy, you have to work with your enemy. Then he becomes your partner.
~ Nelson Mandela
Worldwide protests against the dominant regime and an international campaign lobbied for his release from prison that was finally granted in 1990. Many of us still remember the day of his release as though it were yesterday; his peacefully triumphant walk away from bondage, greatness etched in his face, determination in his stride and a look that showed that he knew there was much work to do. It was clear that imprisonment didn’t deter him; upon his release he made history when he led negotiations with then President F.W. de Klerk to abolish apartheid and establish multi-racial elections in 1994, in which he led the African National Congress (ANC) to success. He was elected President and formed a Government of National Unity, becoming South Africa’s first black president in 1994.
There is no easy walk to freedom anywhere, and many of us will have to pass through the valley of the shadow of death again and again before we reach the mountaintop of our desires. ~ Nelson Mandela
It began the beginning of yet another challenging journey in a life already marked with history-making moments. Born in 1918 into a Thembu royal family, the anti-apartheid revolutionary spent his life doing the work he continued as president: focusing on working with multiracial groups of people to break down the destructive legacy of apartheid by addressing racism, poverty and deeply-ingrained institutionalised inequality.
His mission is best summed up in his own words:
“During my lifetime I have dedicated myself to this struggle of the African people. I have fought against white domination, and I have fought against black domination. I have cherished the ideal of a democratic and free society in which all persons live together in harmony and with equal opportunities. It is an ideal which I hope to live for and to achieve. But if needs be, it is an ideal for which I am prepared to die.”
Many of us fear that there will never be another like him. His accomplishments, which earned him the Nobel Peace Prize in 1993, are unmatched by any political leader since. What he gave to Africa — what Madiba gave and continues to give to the world — should always be appreciated and it should never be forgotten. While all leaders may give some towards making life better for their people, some give all towards making the world a better place. When President Obama said during his June 30th speech at Capetown University that “Mandela’s spirit could never be imprisoned,” it was an understatement. His spirit will live on forever.
His mission is best summed up in his own words:
“During my lifetime I have dedicated myself to this struggle of the African people. I have fought against white domination, and I have fought against black domination. I have cherished the ideal of a democratic and free society in which all persons live together in harmony and with equal opportunities. It is an ideal which I hope to live for and to achieve. But if needs be, it is an ideal for which I am prepared to die.” Rest in Peace.
The best jobs are rewarding, fulfilling and have room to grow. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) gives growth estimates for the 2010 – 2020 period for several occupations. The average growth rate predicted was around 14 percent, but some of the best jobs may experience 25 percent growth and more. If you’re looking for a new career path, these jobs show the most growth potential.
U.S. News lists dentists as one of the top growing careers in the U.S. Dentists can work in a variety of specialties from preventative dentistry to orthodontic surgery. Healthy teeth, mouth and gums are essential for good nutrition, so many dentists volunteer to help those who can’t afford dental care. The Cleft Palate Foundation organizes dentists with surgeons to reconstruct the mouths of children born with cleft palates.
The BLS says the median income for a dentist is more than $140,000 and estimates the growth through 2020 to be 21 percent.
RNs continue to be in demand in several areas. Most work in hospitals and doctor’s offices. Many work in public heath, education, cancer treatment and research, and as midwives. Once regarded as the right hand of the physician, nurses work independently in many areas of healthcare. RNs who continue their education and become Nurse Practitioners may be in charge of clinics in under-served populations.
Photo by Christiana Care via Flickr
The BLS lists the median salary of an RN at $65,000 and predicts a 26 percent growth before 2020.
The number of modern pharmaceuticals is so vast that most healthcare providers cannot keep up with the latest medications. The pharmacist must be aware of each new product that comes out and know how they can be used and the side effects. They consult with people about their medications and any interactions. They staff poison control centers and take emergency calls about suspected poisonings. They are also widely involved in research. Work of the World offers pharmacy internships around the world and give students the chance to help in poverty-stricken areas.
Photo by Rhoda Baer via Wikimedia Commons
The BLS estimates the growth of pharmacists to be 25 percent through 2020 and states the median salary is $113,000 per year.
This career continues to be a favorite and satisfying choice for many. There are numerous ways to practice as a physician, from hands-on family practitioner to research in nuclear medicine. They can be found in every healthcare setting and are very active in education. The desire to help people and the variety of experiences that they can have keeps doctors working in their profession after others retire. The volunteer organization Doctors without Borders engages physicians to use their skills in troubled countries. Often these are areas affected by natural disasters where medical help is unavailable.
Photo by Seattle Municipal Archives via Wikimedia Commons
The BLS says physicians can expect a growth rate of 24 percent through 2020 and have an annual median salary of $183,000.
Computer Systems Analyst
Photo by Argonne National Laboratory’s Flickr page
With the growth of technology comes people who know how to master it. Computer analysts understand how to integrate hardware and software to solve problems in many fields. This is a versatile role found in business, healthcare, education, government and anywhere that computers are being used. People in the computer field can often be found volunteering as tutors or mentors to young adults moving into this industry.
The BLS states the median annual salary for an analyst is $78,000, with an anticipated growth of 22 percent through 2020.
Switching to a new career is never easy. Even if you need to go back to school and take on a second part-time job from job-applications.com, working toward a rewarding and fulfilling career with growth potential is well worth the hard work and dedication.
Author: Randy Reed is a former HR director for a large, multinational corporation. These days he blogs and gardens to keep himself busy