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MarkH
 
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Be the change you would like to see

10 September 2012, 10:19

I’ve read a great many of the articles published here lately with both amusement and concern as they give a good insight into what many South Africans think and feel and what I’m seeing is not comforting.

We are a very confused lot and our confusion, it seems, stems generally from our inability to have the changes made that we feel should steer us, as a country, in the right direction.

From what I’ve read – and this is by no means conclusive as we all know that the overwhelming majority of South Africans do not have access to such media – it would seem that we’re all angry with the government, that we all feel they should be doing more – for less – and that we’re now turning our anger, and bile, on our fellow men and women instead of towards the people who are doing us such a disservice – the government.

It’s about time that we stopped this and rather concentrated on making changes from within to suit where we think we should be going. If we disagree with government policy let us rather voice our disapproval to them, instead of at our neighbour, let us take the true miscreants on rather than our fellow South Africans and attempt that way - via the voice of reason - to make changes happen.

We have a deeply divided country – as evidenced by the massacre at Marikana – and this should have woken us all up. We still have people in this country - people who are allowed to vote and rear children - who believe in muti, in sacrifices and that numbers can drown out reason. This alone should shock us rigid. How can this be in a country with a constitution, with a parliament and where most of us have cell phones and are able to walk and talk at the same time?

What happened at Marikana was truly shocking but if we allow this government to continue on the path they seem to have chosen – a path of socialism, populism and selling out to the highest bidder -  then we’ll have only ourselves to blame and it will be too late, much too late, to complain at a later date. Besides, there will be nobody to listen then.

We must decide what we want. Are we going to allow a populist party to drag us down the tubes, purely weighed down by numbers with no reasoning capabilities, or are we going to fight them via our democracy? If the majority believe that the ANC are the way forward then so be it – we will have to accept that majority rules - if not reason - that we are part and parcel of Africa, with all its quirks and charm, and that we must live with it, or leave.

However there are still enough of us - people with reason, with standards and with the will to survive and overcome all obstacles – to force at least true democracy onto the state.

We all know what the problems are, and they are numerous from corrupt cadres to a lack of service delivery to incompetent and rude civil servants, but we are millions of voters - and tax payers - and our power should not be underestimated, nor ignored, nor taken for granted.

Thus, if you are going to boycott anybody, or anything, boycott the government. Don’t vote for them or their nominees, don’t attend their functions, or their parties, don’t jump onto their gravy train and don’t do business with them.

Ah, that might have hit home. Not doing business with them may hurt your pocket, not so? In that case deal with it because you have already chosen your bed and must now lie in it.

I understand the frustration that many of the citizens of SA feel today, the feelings of helplessness and anger that are so prevalent amongst those least able to fend for themselves, by the homeless, the unemployed and the youth and my heart bleeds for them. They have no voice, no comfort and often no hope. To them I can only say that many of us are aware of your plight and would like to assist but you too need to voice your disapproval if you are to be heard and recognized.

It will not help either your cause or mine to burn things down, to loot, pillage and rape and kill. If you wish to be heard then you must act reasonably, and with maturity, and demand change – not from me, but from the people you elected. Only you can do so.

From my side, I’ll continue to comment, and criticize, when I don’t like what I see, I’ll continue to avoid having anything to do with the government - until they change their ways - and I’ll invite all who think like me to vote against them. It’s not much but it may avoid my having one day to explain to my children and theirs why a good country was allowed to disintegrate. I’ll at least have stood up to them.

Change what you cannot accept, accept what you cannot change but always remember that if you’ve made money your god then you must also accept its disciples, in whatever form they take.

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