The outpouring of heartfelt emotion all over the world at the news that Nelson Mandela was ill in hospital straightened our backs and concentrated the mind.
We all prepared for the moment we knew was never too far away, yet nonetheless are all unwilling to accept will inevitably arrive.
Madiba is still with us, and for that we are all relieved. We’re all still very wounded following the global grief which followed the loss of Michael Jackson.
Perhaps, our collective chord of compassion is still far too frail to confront the tragedy of an even bigger legend’s departure.
And this got me thinking; for whom else, and where else, would there be either a national or global outpouring of grief?
Who in the world do we really love? Whom, upon hearing had become critically ill today, would we lay vigil outside a hospital on freezing winter days for? Whose funeral would a nation, or at least a city, actually grind to a halt for? As the world did for Diana, Pope John Paul II and Michael Jackson. As a nation did for John F Kennedy
I’m not suggesting I have a finger on the pulse for the sympathies of the populations of every city, nation or continent but I’ll list some names, and what I think would be the scope of their ‘vigil’.
|Nelson Mandela||World Statesman||Global|
|The Queen||Head of State, United Kingdom||Global|
|Barack Obama||President, United States||Global|
|Oprah Winfrey||Television chat show host||Global|
|Jay-Z||Rapper, Businessman||New York|
|Amitabh Bhachan||Bollywood Actor||India, Pakistan|
|Diego Maradona||Footballing Legend||Global|
|Hillary Clinton||Secretary of State, United States||Global|
|Bill Clinton||Former President, United States||Global|
|Vladimir Putin||Prime Minister, Russia||Russia|
|Muhammad Ali||Former Heavyweight Champion||Global|
|Justin Bieber||Singer||North America|
I’ve suggested some here but please feel free to agree or disagree with me. More importantly, please add more and ask your friends in places far afield to contribute with their local knowledge.
I’m woefully conscious that the list is missing many icons from Africa, Middle East and Asia, particularly the Far East. Rather than chastise me for being so Western-centric, please help by adding them. A couple of lines about them and perhaps a link to their Wiki too would be great
This is just hypothetical, of course, there is nothing to suggest that any of these icons are on the Grim Reaper’s hit list, and neither would I want anybody to assume that I’m hoping for the swift expedition of their time with us. Well, maybe one of them…