Tag Archive: hope


pavement

‘Books are a very important part of my life. Books are my wealth and pay my bills. Books have a magic that keeps me going through hard times.’

[Philani Dladla, The Pavement Bookworm, opening line]

Meet Philani Dladla.

You may have seen glimpses of his story that went viral a while back as a young man on a street corner selling book reviews to people. But yesterday morning i got to meet him. Continue reading

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light

i love how in the darkest and longest of rooms, the moment you light the smallest candle, it can be seen from anywhere else in the room. [Unless of course, you’re hiding in a cupboard, but then, Narnia!]

Whereas in the lightest and brightest of rooms, you introduce a little bit of darkness and nothing much happens. Continue reading

Picture of South African Flag

In a moment of brave-ity two night’s ago i decided to ask the South African internet a question. I was reading a book that pointed back to the idea of South Africa being renamed Azania and i didn’t think that was the worst idea. After all ‘South Africa’ is just a direction, right. What do you think? Who would be okay with a name change and why?

i also posted an article by Xolela Mangcu on News 24 titled ‘Spinach, Chips and Race’ talking about a negative experience he had had at a restaurant that he saw as directly linked to race and all the white people who jumped on and tried to defend as just being a restaurant/client incident. And many black friends jumping in to confirm that this has happened to them and people they know too many times for the coincidence monster to be invoked. And then more white people jumping on to say the story was not related.

Both of these got a lot of conversation going – some was heated and uncomfortable and absolutely beautiful and i include one of those exchanges below because of where it started and where it ended up. [flashbacks to the ‘What about Bob?’ series of conversations i ran a while back]. Some was just painful and demonstrated an all too typical white response to reflect and defend and misdirect and to refuse to LISTEN to what was really being said and to understand some of the HURT and COMPLEXITY that was attached.

Amidst a sea of frustration and stupidity, there are glimpses and islands of hope and i will continue to lash myself to those as i try to figure out how this ally thing works. Part of it seems to be to continue to invite white people to come to the table and to look inwards and try to recognise the change that still needs to happen without them getting too distracted with who owns the table and how they would prefer the lighting to be and why their particular cushion [you got a cushion?] is not quite as comfortable as they are used to.

Here are some comments and conversations that emerged from yesterday’s posts and shares, followed by some highlights pulled out of a really helpful Jonathan Jansen article [which you should go and read the rest of]:

Debbie: A dream I have is that we would eventually all be referred to as South Africans, because personally I think using terms of black, white, coloured just further entrenches the separation. There are some South Africans not willing to engage with other South Africans, but this does not include all. There are many making the effort and moving forward together.

Linde: I think it’s convenient for privileged white people particularly to use the desire for peace as a means of silencing those that speak about deep racial issues.There are many making an effort, but the social conversations we’re having prove that THEY are not enough. Issues such as Rhodes Must Fall,Open Stellenbosch should not need debating after 1976 and yet here we are.

Debbie: That was not a comment to silence anybody, just a dream for the future. Making broad statements using black and white terms makes me feel further separated from going forward. I then feel I am damned if I do and damned if I don’t. Help me understand then what Im saying that comes across as silencing voices. Genuine question, I really would like to know.

Linde: You do realise that this is not about making you feel comfortable Debbie? There is a majority out there that has been treated in a way no minority should be treated for many years and then we have privileged people such as yourself who are very concerned about their feelings and protecting those feelings. I appreciate that you spoke your mind but accept that others will do the same and they deserve to. Speaking of the reality of the current status of SA will not change things or create greater division as that’s the same as changing a country’s name without serious reform of the real issues that cause the racial divide.

Debbie: Not trying to feel comfortable nor am I so concerned about my feelings in what we are talking about. I used a lot of ‘I statements’ so as not to point fingers, that was the only reason. I really do want that social change and for the racial divide to go. I am all for people talking if they still need to talk, but surely there does need to come a time when moving forward together is important for all, even with conversations still happening along the way on topics that haven’t been properly addressed?

Linde: How do we move forward when you want to mask the truth selfishly at your own convenience? Moving forward can only happen when we talk and address issues frankly. Rhodes Must Fall & Open Stellenbosch are a consequence of the lack of honest dialogue as black people are muzzled by white people such as yourself and those you think you speak on behalf of who consider the absence of racial conversation as a step in the correct direction. Movements such as Rhodes Must Fall, Open Stellenbosch happened cos black people decided to talk regardless of how uncomfortable it makes you and the people you speak on behalf of. Rhodes Must Fall and Open Stellenbosch and many other movements and organisations are the beginning of change. They are the sign that South Africa is moving on and that we’re tackling these issues head on. Your definition of a South Africa that has moved on is a SA where you and the people you speak on behalf of are not challenged by the wrongs of the past and the WRONG that you are so ignorant of doing right now in this conversation. What you’re doing is the perfect example of white privilege at it’s best. You think you can define the terms of “SA moving on”. For you, continuing to discuss racial issues means we haven’t moved on, cos Debbie and the group she speaks on behalf of has said so. To you Black people who speak of race issues are not moving on. We will not keep quiet because the people you speak on behalf of are uncomfortable Debbie.

Debbie: ok this conversation obviously needs to happen in another place as it’s getting lost in translation here. I was trying to dialogue and not be attacking. am happy to talk inbox and that’s not because of being uncomfortable, but truly believing this will not be solved on a FB post with misunderstandings happening.

Linde: I don’t mean to sound dismissive Debbie but I’ve heard this rhetoric before. I can’t tell you how many times people have preferred to challenge ideas with me via inboxes – cos they’re being misunderstood. In SA white voices/opinions carry more authority and we hear them all the time on their terms. I think I’ve heard almost every argument possible about why talking about race is divisive. Surprise me and do something different – CHALLENGE YOUR OWN PERSONAL SENSE OF PRIVILEGE.

Debbie: Ok, a question, what would make you see that I have taken that step? What is the expectation of challenging privilege?

Linde: This Debbie is a 180 degree change of tone from your conversation. This is definitely something I don’t see often and I hope to see more of it from more people.

1. Don’t dictate to the oppressed how they should act. This is what you have been consistently doing in this conversation. The premise of your argument is based on telling the majority to move on as explicitly defined by you or the people you speak on behalf of..

2. Understand that discomfort is part of the process of acknowledging and letting go of prejudicial/racist behaviour. There’s nothing wrong with feeling uncomfortable.

3. That discomfort however pales in comparison to what black people have gone through and what they go through every day today – in the NEW SOUTH AFRICA. Your discomfort is nothing compared to their pain and suffering and it continues – contrary to popular belief it didn’t end in 1994. Their pain trumps your discomfort. As long as one isn’t inciting violence, as you’re also entitled to a safe environment (even online), listen, make a contribution without dictating terms.

BUT THIS IS JUST THE BEGINNING
It’s been a pleasure.

Debbie: People always tell me to stay out of online conversations because they don’t go anywhere. I beg to differ most of the time, otherwise I would have missed this opportunity in meeting you and furthering my learning. I didn’t see myself as dictating, so I am sorry for that. I have learnt a lot from working with black people and teaching in a black school for the last few years. I hear about the tough life these kids live and it breaks my heart. I seek to help where I can and always want to see myself a learner, so thank you Linde.

Phumzile: Well Debbie, the long and the short is that we have been socialised for centuaries to think in terms of colour, so that’s not going away in this centuary at least, the slow pace of transformation (if there’s any) is not helping. Let’s accept colour cause to a large degree it shows off God’s creativity, colour is no mistake. There are practical things that can speed up finding our country’s identity besides a name change, eg. White people giving back land without compensation, having this conversation in an indeginous language cause it’s mandatory (not a nice to have in order to make black pps feel like u r a nice white person), etc etc. Perhaps then, a name change when what we see in this country is worth summing up in a word or two.

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My friend Simon telling it like it is: You see, a lot of white people – myself included – unintentionally start falling into an unmerited positivity around race in our country, where we feel that apartheid is long behind us, and the hurt and leftover division is largely on the mend. And the only reason we think this is the majority of us still carry the privilege of not being majorly effected by it. We sort of forget it.

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My Facebook status after two very long, draining, mostly painful conversations with white people being defensive and black people being [in my opinion] way too gracious and patient: “South Africa, it is okay to feel uncomfortable in conversations. Without that we will never move forwards. But when that happens do you stay and push through and listen harder and look more into your own heart and really try to hear and see and be honest about what is happening or do you bail? Don’t give up. There is a lot of hard work ahead but it is more than worth it and we need to be more than grateful that people of colour continue to engage with us at all as we try to figure this out. It is not their responsibility to help us figure it out – that is a gift!”

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Lastly, this article written by Jonathan Jansen in the Rand Daily Mail which i have just pulled the key points out of, but click on the link and go and read it in full.

How to be White and Happy in South Africa 

IT HAS long fascinated me, the fact that some white young people fit so easily into the new South Africa but most struggle to live and learn and love alongside black youth.

First, get a grip on yourself. You are not better than the other person because of your skin.

Acknowledge that you are a child of privilege. If you start off with the idea that everything you have is a consequence of the hard work of your parents, you are probably from another planet. Yes they probably worked hard, but centuries of separation and privilege — white affirmative action, in essence — gave your family an emphatic advantage at the expense of black people; that is why you do not live in a shack or never attended a crappy school. Acknowledging this simple fact sets you free, big time. Denying it will make it difficult to ease into this new country since you would never understand how we came to be so unequal.

Learn to listen before you speak. As with any child of privilege, including the black middle classes, you have been subtly trained to think you know more and better than those of lower class or darker race. This I can assure you is bull. But learning to listen is hard, since you grew up hearing your parents bark orders and give instructions to lesser people (in their minds).

Do not listen to your parents when it comes to friendships…  Be better than us your parents; learn and love and live without borders for if your generation cannot make this society normal, we‘re screwed.

Always be on the lookout to learn from your friendships.

And learn to appreciate the traditions and expectations of your different friends and their families.

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Anything jump out for you while reading this? Is there something you’ve noticed in your own life that needs to be worked on? If you’re a white person, what questions do you have with regards to figuring out white fragility or privilege or how to be a better ally to your friends of colour? 

[For more helpful posts on South African related things, click here] 

blood brothers

This short extract from ‘Blood Brothers: The Dramatic Story of a Palestinian Christian Working for Peace in Israel’ really jumped out at me and i think speaks for itself:

It was during our final spring days at Saint Sulpice that my kindly mentor, Father Longère, touched a deeply resonant note, like a voice out of eternity. I had come to value his wisdom, his remarkable way of challenging us, spurring us to deeper thought on any subject in which we were certain of our opinion. During one of his final lectures, I found myself riveted to his words. “If there is a problem somewhere,” he said with his dry chuckle, “this is what happens. Three people will try to do something concrete to settle the issue. Ten people will give a lecture analyzing what the three are doing. One hundred people will commend or condemn the ten for their lecture. One thousand people will argue about the problem. And one person—only one— will involve himself so deeply in the true solution that he is too busy to listen to any of it.”“Now,” he asked gently, his penetrating eyes meeting each of ours in turn, “which person are you?”

[Chapter 8, Seeds of Hope]

Race and reconciliation issues in South Africa. The Black Lives Matter movement in the United States. Education. Poverty. Treatment of Refugees. And so much more…

We can’t all possibly solve, or even make dents in, every one of those areas. But we can choose one. And be the one person.

For me at the moment, one of those issues that i feel strongly about and am trying to figure out how to be so deeply involved in the true solution that i am too busy to listen to any of it, is race and reconciliation in South Africa.

Which person are you? [i would honestly love to hear from you and hear you identify the issue you feel most strongest about and if you’re currently doing something about it or have a deep heart and desire to do so, please leave your mark in the comments section]

[For the Intro and links to other extracts from the book, click here]

spag

i do not have adequate words to describe last nite.

i am scared that the ones i use will do it injustice as there is no adequate way to capture what went down at our home as some friends from Sybrand Park, Khayelitsha, Kayamandi, Wynberg, Nyanga, Manenberg and Southfield came together for a meal and some intense conversation.

Spaghetti is a contradiction food all in itself. It is NOT good first date food. It is messy and at some point in the evening someone is going to have to catch your eye and give a nervous cough and indicate that you have some food on your face, or your clothes, or lap.

And that’s kind of how the conversation went. It was messy. And this is probably one of the greatest things that we as South Africans need to learn. MESSY IS OKAY. Messy is necessary and so is uncomfortable and awkward and even angry and confused and devastated. We will not move forwards until we can start having those conversations comfortably, or uncomfortably, so to speak. Both at a political leadership level but also maybe more importantly at a grass roots, neighbour level.

messi

Step one was the phone basket. As you arrive to have a meal with us, you turn your phone off and add it to the basket as a symbol of your commitment to be unplugged and engaged with us for the evening.

Step two was a simple meal. i mean a really delicious and amazing meal that tbV put together including garlic bread and delicious salad and tasty spaghetti, but nothing crazy fancy beyond that. People brought drinks if they could and we shared a meal together.

Step three was introductions. Not even tbV and i knew everyone as one of our friends brought a mate with him, but each person at the meal knew at least one other person. We had an even mix of black and white but from all kinds of backgrounds and current story situations. With this particular meal, we were looking at diving a little more deeply into the idea of race and location and boundary and so you were invited to tell us a little bit about yourself and where you live and why you live there.

As that process happened, people interrupted with questions and clarifications and we got joyfully sidetracked on to deeper conversations of different aspects of race and privilege and prejudice. A lot of laughter. Some silence – a moment after one of our friends stopped talking and tbV wisely said that, ‘The white in me wants to respond and fix and make sense and explain and speak to what you have just said. But I think I just need to listen and let it sink in and really hear and sit with it for a while.’ And so as a room we sat with it for a while. And it was a little awkward and a little uncomfortable [for me, maybe not at all for everyone else or maybe even more so, i don’t know] And then we continued.

There was a lot of passion that erupted. It definitely felt like there were some ‘I have a dream’ speech moments where heart just completely overflowed and it was intense but beautiful. And challenging. There was a strong moment of one participant saying, ‘I feel the same way as you’ and being challenged boldly back. “Where did your children go to school? Oh really, well then they had that choice. How can you possibly feel like me?” Privilege exposed and named in a powerfully tense but amazing moment. At the end of the evening the two of them ended up in a car together as the one gave the other a ride home.

i definitely learnt some things. One of the things i learnt was that for many years the line “Education is the answer” has been held as the carrot before the proverbial horse as if black people just need to educate themselves and get a university degree and then everything will be okay. Apartheid put them on the educational back foot and so one of the ways of overturning that part of the past was through education and lifting oneself out of it. But last night we heard stories of people with masters degrees manning petrol pumps, unable to find work. And that is the story for a large number of people. Education alone has proved to not be the answer. There are much bigger things in play.

i felt hugely uncomfortable. One thing that made me feel uncomfortable was the moment i drove into our driveway with Nkosi and his friend Monde who i had picked up at the taxi rank. Having visited Nkosi and understanding a little of his home situation in Khayelitsha, the thought of him seeing the absolute luxury i live in, was a difficult thought. But it was later on during the story telling when one of our friends shared how 32 of them [not a typo!] lived in a three bedroom house, that i was just blown away. i feel like i have had an idea of poverty and the idea that a lot of people are squeezed into small space so maybe 6, 7, 8 people in a room. 32 people in three rooms. i cannot get my head around that. There are reasons why we live where we live right now which are completely valid. But there are also some inherent contradictions that are part of it as well. At the moment, while we live here, there is the absolute commitment to use the space we have for life-changing transformative conversations like we believe happened last night.

Step four was really just picking up threads that had come out of the introductions and conversation that preceded. But to be honest, the richness of last night was in hearing peoples’ stories and challenges and ideas about where the country needed to go. By the time we got past introductions, i think it must have been 11pm [four hours since starting the meal] and we wrapped up just around 12. One of my highlights of the evening was our one friend who had to be somewhere at 8 and then just got so completely invested that he skipped his other function and was one of the last two people helping clean up after midnight, when i returned from giving someone a ride home.

What’s next is more of these dinners. Having done two now [both going for more than four hours of intense conversation, the previous one being conversations around church] tbV and i have realised that as amazing as they are, they are also really tiring and so probably won’t be moving them to once a week happenings just yet. But once a month feels manageable. We want to have one around money/economics and we are thinking about doing one around marriage. And then we’ll see from there. The next one will happen after we get back from the USA which will be July so maybe end July. If you’re interested in being part of one, let us know. That doesn’t necessarily mean you will be, but it’s good to know who is interested.

i also chatted to Nkosi this morning and he was saying how last night was great and the next step is to get a black church and a white church together and host a conversation like that. i am super amped to do that. So that is something we will chat about and hopefully look to doing later on in the year. If you’re a church leader and interested, let me know. That could really be ultimately country-changing.

These dinners are not the solution to anything. But they are an incredible catalyst for change. i was sitting there last night thinking, ‘This does not happen naturally. Not a lot anyways.’ It needs to be a little intentional and it is likely to always start off a little bit awkwardly. But what if more and more South Africans [because one of our participants from last night is going to be doing something similar with his mates tonite] decided to be more intentional about Deeper Conversation meal times [on whatever topics] and started hosting meals and bringing different people together?

Arguments on Facebook [with the lack of tone that being online robs you of] can only go so far. tbV and i have decided that if you have a strong argument against something that we say or do then sit across from us at a dinner table and let’s talk about it face to face. If we are truly grappling about something [church, race, money, marriage] then let’s commit to an evening together with people who think differently and see what can be learned. Let’s learn to listen together and let’s encourage each other to speak boldly and honestly.

Let’s eat spaghetti on our first date and let’s be bold and realise that we need Messi in our team.

i want to have a positive influence on the state of our nation. This feels like one good way to get started.

Read Nkosi Gola’s reflections on the meal…

Read Brian van Zuydam’s reflections on the meal…

Take in my wife, Val’s thoughts about the evening…

Some related thoughts from my mate, Portal Pete…

Babalwa Nyangeni adds some of her reflections…

Who else is up for giving this a try? i would LOVE to hear how it goes…

flag[For some more ideas of how to move towards progress in South Africa, click here]

This is a response to yesterday’s shared anonymous letter, What About Bob? and so if you have not read that yet, start there and then come back here and continue. Alexa is a good friend of mine who has been involved in many of the conversations we have had on race, reconciliation, restitution and other terms that may not begin with R but this is stuff she is passionate about and doing her best to live well. She has also contributed to this blog on a number of occasions such as sharing about one person who gives her hope in South Africa, a personal shout out to South Africa as well as some thoughts from a married person to the single people in and around here life. So if you enjoy this, please go and check those out…

But in the meantime, here are some of her thoughts in response to Bob

Alexa

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Dear Bob,

I read your letter to Brett and heard some of your frustration. Much of what you expressed are common themes that I have heard amongst the white community.

Just to contextualise me:

White, female, CpTownian, Have lived in a desert wilderness, have lived and working in Mozambique, have lived & worked in a corporate context in JHB, have worked in impoverished communities too in Cape Town & JHB. In South Africa, very sadly impoverished correlates with black and coloured.

One of the most helpful things I have ever heard said was that we need to talk about poverty and race without being racist – the reason I mention this is that the majority of people calling for change or transformation are people still living with poverty which looks and feels exactly like it did under apartheid. Yes in terms of the constitution we are all said to be equal but in terms of what life looks like we definitely don’t have the same starting blocks for whatever life journey we want to pursue. We need to recognise South Africa’s intersection of race and class if we are wanting to understand some of the current frustrations: Yes, it’s been 21 years, so it’s not ALL about what you or I do anymore, and we have leaders who serve themselves often rather than the country, but we also need to recognise the following:

Saying that “I am sorry, this was wrong,” doesn’t mean that I am guilty of implementing something bad. It does mean that I see your hurt, your anger and know that purely by being born into the family I was I had different starting blocks. Saying I am sorry is about recognising the untold hurt of the past and the frustrations of the present – many of which are due to the past.

Saying I am sorry or acknowledging that this was wrong goes beyond just ‘sorry’ – it’s also about being willing to ask and engage with how do we repair the past? Relationally, economically, socially?

Bob, as I read your letter, I was reminded of a conversation that I had with a (white) friend recently. Her statement to me was:

“I am not ugly to people, I am not just going to be friends with someone because they are different to me (that doesn’t feel sincere) and why can’t we be nice to each other? I am not political and don’t want to get political but I am tired of be past being hauled up and people looking at me when I wasn’t a part of it all.”

This friend really does believe that all people are equal and has been in situations where she was often the only white person at a party while she was studying, but as years have gone by, her friendships circles have shifted into areas of interest and remained quite pale in their diversity.

Parts of our conversation that unfolded after this was as follows:

* “If we truly want to see healing then actually we do need to be willing to befriend people whose stories are different to us. We need to be willing to be the uncomfortable ones who don’t always understand or fit in. It might not seem genuine initially but we can’t begin to understand the perspective or where we fit or don’t fit if we aren’t willing to listen and to hear and to be in spaces where things are understood differently to people who think like us.

Putting it differently if it came out that a friend had been in an abusive relationship for a long time and we weren’t aware of it, we would want to do everything we could to help that friend heal, to be safe, to get a GOOD fresh start and want to support and understand.

If we aren’t willing to start engaging with a friend whose story we don’t know or understand, even if we don’t identify with being abused or being the abuser, it is very hard to actually be a part of their healing.

The people we care about are the ones who we want to engage with. If we aren’t meeting and forming relationships with other people it’s really hard to develop any understanding of their story”

The reality is that the cracks in our story of unity are showing. We celebrated freedom together, but we never really healed together.

As the white community, very little about our lives actually changed, other than an increased competition in the workspace and perhaps seeing a greater mix of people (depending where we are in terms of relationship as well as geographically) socially.

Our story of unity for the most part has been a one sided story for most of us. We still weren’t, unless we asked to be told and were able to sit with the answers, aware of the cost to most of our peers and the broader South African community. In order to create a shared narrative, we need to go through the frustrating for some, redevelopment of a story where those were quiet get to speak and those of us who have already spoken get to listen.

I hate that before I have opened my mouth, perceptions exist about who I am or what I think. The reality though is that from a race perspective this has been there for years and the filter towards people of colour (regardless of their ethnicity) has been marred by different stereotypes or beliefs, which weren’t always positive. I think that as the white community we escaped this for the longest time due in part to the sameness of most of our contexts and now we are needing to recognise that we ALL have filters.

Ironically race has been the proverbial white elephant in the room and yet it’s us, as the white community who struggle to engage with it. #RhodesMustFall highlighted this in many ways – Shaka was violent yes, but in a very different context and story and all we seem to do by responding with Shaka is reveal this struggle.

Too often I have heard that the black community has been gracious, over and over, in wanting to engage and waiting for any kind of indication that the white community is wanting to see transformation and engage with, but that we aren’t standing up, and asking how and showing willingness to engage in these spaces. Too often I have heard it’s because we don’t want to let go of the benefits we enjoy still so that we can share the space better.

Anger and unresolved, unspoken, deep hurt from the past has to go somewhere – and if aren’t part of the somewhere, through listening, through being willing to be present with, then we will lose our sense of purpose in this.

I get frustrated, I get hurt at times when I perceive the anger to be switching to a place of hate but I am realising more and more that the more I engage, intentionally and listen, in these spaces that hope is returning.

We need you Bob and we need your wrestling. We need you to be asking the question of where and how you can contribute. We need you to stand shoulder to shoulder with the rest of us wanting to see this change. We need you to stand quietly and listen and maybe even weep with us when people share their realities. We also need you to be speaking up and out and shouting that I want to be a part but I am not sure where.

We need you.

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[To read the original email from Bob, click here]

flagcountry

i get it, South Africa is in a bit of a mess right now, and that statement is a bit of an understatement.

And yes, xenophobia might not be the correct word, but it’s the one most people understand and so it does seem to work for now so please don’t let us get distracted by that.

With this whole Xenophobia vibe, there are two truths:

[1] One truth is violence, fear, destruction, hate

[2] Another truth is peace marches, shelter, protection and life.

The problem on social media this past week, as far as i can tell, is that for the most part only one truth has been emphasised.

While it is important for us to be aware of what is going on [i think we all are by now, yes?] i think we need to realise the responsibility each of us has in the way we share the truth, or the way we choose which truth to share.

Neither of the two truths is the whole truth.

Yes, we would love to see the government more involved, or at least more vocal, and this is definitely something the police and maybe even the military need to be involved in, but again, we have a responsibility outside of that. Whether they do or not and whether it is in a way that is helpful or not, each of us can play our part.

And while i don’t know what the actual answers are when it comes to the actual violence that is happening [besides possibly showing up in numbers and saying “Not on our watch!” although it is hard to know where to go] i do know that we can do our part. And much better than we have.

Fear breeds more fear. Hate breeds panic. Violence breeds hopelessness and disillusionment.

i think it is important for us to take a deep breath and realise that these incidents are actually representative of the minority [which you would not think if you took notice of all the negativity being shared, forwarded, liked and eaten up].

Which is why i have committed myself [and am calling on others] to start to share more of the positive truths that are true of so many of the people of South Africa [of all races, social classes, areas, genders etc].

Let us be more excited to share the good that is happening so that other people who are feeling fearful and hopeless and despondent might be encouraged and motivated to get up and become part of more good, seeing that it does happen and is working.

i don’t even have an idea why people share videos of violence on social media – yes, it’s important we know it is happening, but if we choose to watch it, then i think a little piece of our humanity leaves through the window. Fortunately we’ve been so desensitised by television and movie violence that we don’t even care…

So what i am suggesting and inviting you to do, is to become greater sharers of the more positive truth.

Like this story by my mate Rob from Zimbabwe which is hugely positive and encouraging and representative of stuff he is seeing all the time over there.

Like these stories i am trying to post every week by someone in South Africa sharing the story of someone else in South Africa who is doing something [big or small] that gives them hope.

Like this tab on my blog looking at South Africa and different aspects of how we can move positively forward or just celebrate some of the beautiful kalidoscope of who we are

And more. We live in a beautiful country and we need to claim it both in word and deed, online and out there on the streets. We must not lose sight of the incredible things that are happening all around the country and the millions of people who are wanting this all to work out well. Let’s commit to sharing at least one positive story for every negative one we pass on, but preferably more. Let’s commit to finding and sharing those stories as we see them happening around us. And to be personally involved in making those stories as we build bridges, invest in relationships, become agents of peace and love rather than soothsayers of doom.

Who is with me?

racemlk

racenelson

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