*If I had a mic and all of SA was listening what would I say for 2015.
My hope, my dream for this beautiful nation is that people would step out of their comfort zones amd embrace other people.
I know this is not easy.
My dream is that young people would embrace older people, straight people would embrace gay and transgendered people, people of different racial hues would also embrace each other and share their stories…….
And we’d all simply learn to listen.
Not defend, not argue…. Just simply listen.
If we did that perhaps we’d see, truly see the richness and depth of this country…..
And it would enliven us and give us hope amidst the bigotry, the gender inequality, the rampant crime and the misdeeds of our government.
One of the most precious memories I have in life was when a friend of mine (who is an Afrikaans female) offered and then baked me some cupcakes.
It’s a small thing, but it meant the world to me.
That single gesture of simple humanity has saved me from making gross generalisations about Afrikaans people even in my angriest times.
I can tell many more stories, like how my friendship (and coffee at her place in Greenside) with Alexa Russell Matthews taught me a great deal about gender inequality and how friendships with people in the LGBT community helped me humanize that community.
I see faces.
I hear laughter.
I know the talents and pains and joys of people.
I don’t simply see the label.
In a very real sense I see beyond it and to the irreducible complexity that is just one human life.
My dream in 2015 is that South Africans would make a visceral and deeply human connection between the labels and the people who carry them and in so doing learn that when we deny one part of humanity, we ultimately deny ourselves, that, as Martin Luther King jr put it,’ injustice anywhere is a threat to freedom and justice everywhere’.
From the Jacaranda trees of surburban Gauteng, resplendent in majestic purple to the sugar cane fields of Kwazulu Natal, that give sweetness to our land to the unspoilt and scenic coastline of the Eastern Cape; more beautiful than just about any place your heart wishes to go to the beautiful tip of Africa…. Cape Town; with it’s sweeping, majestic and panoramic sea views and Table Mountain.
This is home for me and it is home for you.
My dream for 2015 is that the son’s and daughter’s of this beautiful country would step out and embrace each other; embrace the courage, the patience and ultimately the love it takes to learn to find the humanity in those who are different and embrace it and learn to love it.