Greatness

by Naomi on August 1, 2011

in Inspiration, Wildlife

male lion at Schotia Safaris, South Africa

His name was Mufasa, apparently meaning “King” in the Manazoto language…and what a king he was. He exuded greatness. This magnificent male lion lived at Schotia Safaris, an Eastern Cape game farm belonging to the Bean family, who have owned the original farm, Orlando, since the early 1800’s. It’s run by Peter, Dave’s friend from childhood, together with his wife Jenny, children and team.

If you’re ever in the vicinity of Port Elizabeth, look Schotia Safaris up. You won’t be disappointed, least of all by their trademark lion sightings. There’s plenty of other wildlife, including a variety of buck, hippo’s, crocodiles, giraffe and lots more, but the lions are special.

We were privileged to know Mufasa – Big Daddy of them all – in his prime. His massive mane was permanently coiffed as if by design, dignity radiating from his every pore. In the face of such greatness it was odd to imagine him as a cub, although he had doubtless been full of attitude, like this one of his:

LION CUB SNARL - Schotia Safaris, South Africa

The tragedy came later, when he was forced to leave the farm by his young sons, who overcame their father in a ferocious fight, after growing into their own greatness.

Makes one wonder: where does greatness come from, and where does it go? Perhaps it doesn’t at all. Maybe it’s always around, hanging out in the ether, just waiting for someone to try it on for size.

How about you?

Inspiring quotes:

“I long to accomplish a great and noble task, but it is my chief duty to accomplish humble tasks as though they were great and noble” – Helen Keller

“The price of greatness is responsibility.” – Winston Churchill

“Nothing great in the world has ever been accomplished without passion.” – Hebbel

“Greatness lies, not in being strong, but in the right using of strength.” – Henry Ward Beecher

“I’ve often said, the only thing standing between me and greatness is me” – Woody Allen

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that frightens us most.” – Marianne Williamson, A Return to Love: Reflections on the Principles of ‘A Course in Miracles’

The last quote is sometimes attributed to Nelson Mandela and said to have been included in his 1994 inaugural speech. This is debated on the net, but seems inconclusive. Do any of you know?

I’ll leave you with more of Dave’s wildlife photography, because I simply must 🙂

MUFASA - Schotia Safaris, South Africa

{ 14 comments… read them below or add one }

[email protected] August 1, 2011 at 7:11 am

Beautiful creature! Although I have such respect for the animal kingdom, it breaks my heart in several ways. To think he had to go…

I agree with Winston Churchill!

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Naomi August 1, 2011 at 9:29 am

Absolutely heart-breaking, Amy; I never really get my head around it…

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Cindy August 1, 2011 at 9:44 am

Oh that is so sad. Magnificent photos.

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Naomi August 1, 2011 at 11:52 am

Thanks, Cindy 🙂 Lions are one of Dave’s favourite photographic subjects, and Mufasa one of the most favourite. We were desperately sad when he left.

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nrhatch August 1, 2011 at 3:49 pm

Beautiful post, pics, and quotes, Naomi.

The text of Mandela’s two inaugural speeches are here: http://aetw.org/mandela.htm
If they’re accurate, he didn’t quote Marianne Williamson’s passage from A Return To Love.

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Naomi August 1, 2011 at 4:27 pm

Thank you, Nancy – also for that link, which helps to clear things up! I wonder why all the misrepresentation around this particular quote. Anyway, I think it’s brilliant, and you’re a star 😀

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Kate Shrewsday August 1, 2011 at 10:37 pm

Now that’s a lion! Wonderful pictures as usual, Naomi: and much to ponder on the subject of greatness. I wonder if circumstance is the spouse of greatness: Mufasa was top lion until circumstances dictated he change; Churchill found greatness late in life, and still managed to lose an election when his star waned. These things are cyclical, I think.

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Naomi August 2, 2011 at 11:35 am

I reckon you’re right, Kate. Thanks for sharing your thoughts 🙂

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Tokeloshe August 3, 2011 at 10:57 pm

Thank you for sharing such stunning photos.

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Naomi August 5, 2011 at 7:53 am

Our pleasure, Tok 🙂 Thank you for appreciating them!

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JamieDedes August 8, 2011 at 7:10 am

What a magnificent creature! Lovely, lovely photos of him.

The Helen Keller quote is one of my faves. Nice collection.

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Naomi August 9, 2011 at 8:14 pm

Thanks, Jamie – he was really something!

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Pat Marcantel August 23, 2011 at 4:13 pm

Naomi, I love this article and the pictures are heart-stopping. Don’t get to see you on Twitter anymore–perhaps because I’m rarely on anymore? Your website is a wonder to behold!

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Naomi August 24, 2011 at 10:25 am

Hello Pat! Thanks so much for stopping by and leaving such a lovely comment. It’s wonderful to hear from you again. I’ll pop across to your blog now and catch up on Twitter too 🙂

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