While much of the world is preoccupied with the death of a murderous dictator, Vaclav Havel is really the man who should be remembered this week.

It is cruelly unfair that Havel passed away the same day that Kim Jong-il died (or didn’t die). One man continued the policies of his father which has ended up with the murder and deaths of anywhere from one to two million North Koreans. Another man leaves a far more breathtaking legacy.

Vaclav Havel led his country, and his people, to freedom and the victory of truth over lies and suppression.

While Kim Jong-il led a revolution that accomplished nothing other than poverty, famine and a mafioso-like state, Havel led a real revolution, the Velvet Revolution, that resulted in a bloodless dismantling of the Iron Curtain.

And when half of the former Czechoslovakia decided to go its own way, Havel stepped back and let Slovakia go on its own. The “Velvet Divorce,” which again occurred without violence, paved the way for two thriving countries, the Czech Republic and Slovakia. Both are countries not only brimming with beautiful scenery, buzzing cities, and exquisite countryside, but also shine because of the lack of scars that still affect the former Yugoslavia and Soviet Union.

Havel was more of a playwright, a poet and a write more than a politician or a statesman. His presidency had its bumps and hard knocks, but his bravery, integrity and wit are one reason why Eastern Europe thrives today and stands tall as one of the most culturally rich regions in the world.

At a time when few, if any, national leaders are trusted, the world could benefit from a bevy of men and women like Vaclav Havel.

Photo courtesy Wiki Commons.

About The Author

Leon Kaye

Leon Kaye is the founder and editor of GreenGoPost.com. Based in California, he specializes in social media consulting and strategic communications. A journalist and writer since 2009, his work has appeared on Triple Pundit , The Guardian's Sustainable Business site and has appeared on Inhabitat and Earth911. His focus is making the business case for sustainability and corporate social responsibility. Areas of interest include the <a Middle East, sustainable development in The Balkans, Brazil and Korea. He was a new media journalism fellow at the International Reporting Project, for which he covered child survival in India during February 2013. Contact him at leon@greengopost.com. You can also reach out via Twitter (Leon Kaye) and Instagram (GreenGoPost). Since 2013, he has spent much of his time in Abu Dhabi, UAE, working with Masdar, the emirate's renewable energy company. He lives in Fresno, California.