South Africa is in a bad space. Let’s not fool ourselves there. It is what it is.
I remember a time prior to democracy when there was peace in the land. Children played in the neighbourhood, parks were kept neat, we had a working public transport system and the streets were clean. More importantly, the violence that fuels so much hatred and racism today, were kept to a minimum. Law and order prevailed.
Was the system perfect?
Far from it. The majority of European descendants were protected and shielded from some of the harsher realities. And yet, there was joy in the houses. Laughter and good living standards. At least, that is what I remember from the neighbourhood I grew up in.
And I realize. I realize that I myself was shielded from many horrors, even in my own community. But I didn’t know all that. All I saw and experienced was a working, civilized, European standard environment.
Today, most people living in the country would perhaps agree that those times before democracy were not ideal, but at least things worked, and fewer people died because of murder, hatred and barbarism. But most people will also agree that the state which South Africa is in today is far from ideal.
Is it better? Is it worse?
It’s a matter of perspective. Some East Europeans will laugh at our calamities and say, you haven’t seen anything yet. Let us here in Ukraine teach you about corruption and oppression. People of Mexico and Brazil will likewise shake their heads at our complaints, and will tell us in regard to violence roaming in the streets, ‘welcome to the club.’
How then, we may very well ask ourselves, do we go about living a good life here in South Africa? How do we obtain the victory in our personal lives, in our households and in our communities? How do we dream again about a brilliant and bright future, amidst the chaos, corruption and barbarism?
How do we live and thrive in an African country, where the economic, political and social landscape changes every day, and sometimes by the hour?
I believe it is possible. I believe that the moment we were born, we were destined to live a life of victory, regardless of the challenges of said country. I believe that we can overcome and that we can, live a life of peace again.
I know there is a lot of hurt. A lot of doubt. A lot of fear and uncertainty.
But I also know that the divine capacity for overcoming within us is far greater than we could ever imagine.
I believe that we can be a light on this dark continent. That we can grow strong against the adversity we face, and that we are destined for great things.
It all sounds great, you may say, and we are all for a better life. But how do we do it? How do we go about it?
Well, that is what this pamphlet is about. It’s about how to navigate South Africa the better way. About the practical means, to change our thinking, into being more productive, stronger and prepared for anything that might come our way.
There are a lot of ideas and theories about the way forward for minority groups in South Africa. Some of them conflicting, some of them complement each other. And it is all good, as long as we work together toward a common goal, that of establishing a safe and decent environment for us to live and work in. But I will attempt to be more practical about matters too. There are many people in the world, often from much poorer backgrounds than us, who have answers and solutions about how to overcome certain of the challenges we face today.
We shall be looking at stories, analogies, first principles and practical solutions to tackle some of the severe challenges we face in the country today. From fighting crime to fighting severe poverty. From dealing with racism to the correct way of handling discrimination.
Will the ideas and concepts be perfect? Far from it. We are all learning. We all have a new paradigm to adapt to. We will figure this out, and most of all, we will not give up.
What do I do?
I write and publish. Simple. That is how I contribute to the cause of minority groups in South Africa. And each person has his or her gifts, talents and immense potential to make a difference in this country.
Let’s get to work. Let’s make this place a better place. And let our conduct be in such a way, that the only accusation from anywhere in the world toward us can be that were are hardworking, enduring and faithful in our aims, endeavours and goals.
Let the work begin.
Photo credit: Kyle-Philip Coulson @ Unsplash