There are few positive things in this life that we can hold on to.
Each second there is some disaster taking place.
There is famine while some are full; there is drought while some sip unawares on their bottled water. Each moment there is a child, a woman, a man being hurt, a heart being broken and a promise forgotten.
On the internet I was reading some articles from a favourite magazine, all the while brightly coloured banners flashed and darted about the screen advertising lipsticks, shoes and other accessories. The articles I was reading related to women abuse, societies skewed views on human rights and foreign cultures in all their finery.
Suddenly the notion of these beauty products and other apparel seemed meaningless. What good is it to know that there is a sale with 20% off when a woman is being beaten and held against her will? What joy can possibly fill my soul at the thought of anti wrinkle cream, when countries are being torn apart by war?
The heaviness of these topics does indeed weigh down the collective consciousness of our society and makes for widespread negativity.
Wouldn’t it be wonderful to click onto news24 and read some good news? Wouldn’t it be fantastic to look at the front page of a newspaper and relish in a happy headline?
Some books suggest that by constantly talking about negative events and situations that we perpetuate them in our society. Maybe these authors have a point. If we spoke more of cheerful things, no matter how insignificant they may seem to us, surely we could slowly start to broaden the good news horizon?
If we paid more attention to ourselves, our friends our families. Less focus on celebrities, gossip magazines and violence in the media, maybe we would open ourselves up to receiving what we really want to hear, what we really want to read.
I will say though, that we should be alert and awake to our surroundings and be vigilant. We need to strike a balance between being real and in the moment, and positive outcomes.
What do we do to stop this behavior and how does the lowly individual make a difference? Perhaps hands clasped in prayer for our friends is a good place to start. Thinking twice about the words that escape our mouths is a platform for change. It is often the small things that escalate to make a bigger difference. Not so challenging when taken one small step at a time.
This is quite the idealist viewpoint I know, I feel it must be said.
Bringing this notion a little closer to home, I’m not the only one that notices newspapers peppered with negative headlines, stories, photographs. How can we as a nation look to the positive aspects of our country and the beauty that seems to be nestled so deep in our memories that it almost seems fictional. Our South Africa has turned into a corrupt, negative place where there seems to be a free for all for criminals, who escape with barely a slap on the wrist in most instances.
We want the world to view our nation as thriving and a changed democracy, when the only voices we allow to be heard are those spreading hate speech and violence. What about our voices and our say?
What happened to my thoughts, your ideas our approach to how South Africa should be? Seems those sentences, those phrases are lost sadly in a media frenzy of scandal and wrong doing. It is no wonder that most South Africans have such a skewed view of this country.
Michael Jackson once sang “I’m starting with the man in the mirror, I’m asking him to change his ways”. Might just be a catchy pop song, or maybe just maybe it could be fuel to add to a hopeful fire.