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As tired as this sounds: We really can all make a difference

31 December 2012, 14:52

Whenever I read online opinions, debates etc it becomes clear that our politics still divides us deeply, it is a filthy game. Is there anyone these days who enters politics to serve and uplift the needy, to help the disenfranchised, the unemployed and marginalized? Would it not be a much better place if we ordinary South Africans were not so impatient with each other, if we did not allow our politics to divide us so much, if we treated each other with more respect, do we really have to be so harsh with each other when we debate or share our opinions? Yes, it is because we all want the best for ourselves, our children and their children, but how far do we still have to go before we are able to sit down with cool heads and carve out a future that most of us are comfortable with Together?

How many New Years Eve resolutions have we made in the past vowing to try harder to become better people?  Hillary Swanks character in the movie “New Years Eve” says that NYE is a chance to forgive, to do better, to do more, to give more, to love more. To stop worrying about what if and start embracing what could be, she says “let's remember to be nice to each other, kind to each other. And not just tonight but all year long” it seems so simple doesn’t it? And yet it won’t be long before we are again at each other’s throats, calling each other demeaning names, hurling insults at each other that hurt real bad. Given our past and our current situation of racial mistrust, should we not choose our words more carefully? (Even when we criticize President Jacob Zuma, when we criticism Helen Zille, irrespective of how we feel about them).

It’s a legacy of the apartheid system that divided us neatly along racial lines made worse by income inequalities, land ownership etc However people must get real here, how long are we to keep crowing the same old story instead of taking ownership and focusing more on finding solutions to our problems Together?  Is it not much wiser for all South Africans to be more united in demanding delivery from government and business, demanding that all our elected officials live according to the values that we want to see in our society, of honesty, integrity, diversity, respect and equality.

This is the soccer team that won the AFCON Cup in 1996: Andre Arendse, Sizwe Motaung, Mark Fish, Neil Tovey, Lucas Radebe, Eric Tinkler, Linda Buthelezi, Doctor Khumalo, John Shoes, Phil Masinga, Bartlett  - the strength of the team is in its DIVERSITY  with players from different race groups each bringing an invaluable quality into the team – thus, the defensive supremacy of the White players paved the way for the creative maestro’s Shoes and Doctor to wreck havoc with opposition players, there was also the deadly instincts of the Coloured Players like Bartlett or Mark Williams upfront.

It may sound hackneyed and clichéd, but our strength truly IS in our diversity - and each and every one of us CAN make a difference.

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