For Nelson - by Leela Vox

Jun 23, 2013, 10:45 PM

I heard, Sunday June 23, 2013, that our beloved Nelson Mandela was in critical condition, and my heart ached. "Oh no! I never told him," I thought. Soon after, there were false reports of his passing. I grieved and felt regret, "I never shared the song that he inspired within me." When I learned he was still alive, though in critical condition, I was flooded with gratitude. I still had a chance to somehow let him know he had touched the Spirit of this Dallas born woman he'd never met.

I sent the song to his people at The Nelson Mandela Foundation and received a kind reply that they would see to it he heard the message. I don't know if he ever heard it, but it was a lesson to me all to not procrastinate in sharing my gratitude and appreciation for those who touch my Life.

I wrote "For Nelson" around 2004 with a dream of sharing it with him personally in Gratitude for his role in my personal transformation.

It was his sharing of Marianne Williamson's "Our Deepest Fear" quote, that became a turning point for my belief about myself and what I am here to become... the brightest Light I can possibly be... not just for myself, but for my entire human family. And this is true for each of us.

Marianne's quote had been credited to Nelson on a printout hanging outside the door of Martin Radar, one of my acting teachers at the North Carolina School of the Arts. It changed my Life and I gave him total credit until years later when I realize he was simply paying the message forward.

And this is what we are all here to do. It doesn't matter from where wisdom originates nearly as much as how it lands and the impact that it makes.

So, thank you Nelson, for living so courageously, for your sacrifices for freedom, and for shining so brightly your light touched those who never even got a chance to know you. I Love you deeply and forever.


Leela Vox


Thank you to Kyle Whitford and Craig Benelli for the arrangement and to Laura Berman for the background vocals.

I Love you all so much!!!



-by Leela Vox

I don’t sing for your approval

I don’t live my life for you

I don’t mean to be disrespectful

But finally I’m being true to me

And who I’m here to be

It’s funny how we shrink in corners

So that others won’t feel small

But in truth to help each other

It’s better if we stand up tall and soar

So they will know there’s more


Nelson, I owe it all to you

I think I heard you say

That soaring is ok

Nelson, you said to be a light

So that others might

Look and find their way

Now before my life is over

I have told the Universe

I will live the life I’m meant for

Even though I know it hurts to grow

So through the pain I’ll go



To the other side, perspective is a Godsend

Now I realize how beautiful it’s all been

It seems to me we have a duty

To repay the gift of life

Take it in and ask for second’s

A life half lived is such a crime so fly

The limit is the sky


Nelson, I owe it all to you

I think I heard you say

That soaring is ok

Nelson, you said to be a light

So that others might

Look and find their way


Nelson, say thanks to Marianne

You took it and you ran

And so did I, and so will someone else

Nelson, you paid a heavy price

For turning on the light

So I could see the answers in myself

And now I’ll give to someone else.

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