Last week I submitted an essay about ‘How I see SA’ and despite some comments that may be perceived as radical thinking, I still believe each and everyone of us are intrinsically good. We all want a good happy life. A life well lived.
We all want to be a productive member of our society albeit all the challenges we encounter on a daily basis in our modern society.
In the essay I want to appeal to our humanity. The ability to be simply Humane to each other that transcends through race, politics, nationality, colour, religion, whether we poor and rich. I do not come from any particular religious ethos and I do not subscribe to the notion that any good deed will have eternal blessing. I believe when we do good for another human being, we are simply advancing our humanity.
In South Africa we have a culture to simply be mean and arrogant to each other and I think that culture has been with us for many years and will probably be with us for many years to come, if we do not do anything about it, we will destroy ourselves and nothing useful and productive will come of it.
A little story by George Bernard Shaw that I constantly remind myself of when I am angry and I hope some of you will appreciate this as well;
“A Native American elder once described his own inner struggle in this manner: Inside of me there are two dogs. One of the dogs is mean and evil. The other dog is good. The mean dog fights the good dog all the time, When asked which dog wins, he reflected for a moment and replied, The one I feed the most.”
In this forum, I see debates and arguments, for or against, for almost every aspect of life and in these debates we can see which “dog” we are feeding the most. The participants in these debates, though a small number compares to the country’s population is indicative of the general mentality of our population. The general perception from the whites is that, most blacks, if not all, are lazy, uneducated, poor, corruptible, crime ridden mentality.
The general perception from Blacks is, Whites are greedy, rich, selfish, rob our land, our minerals. The Whites want to maintain their superiority both economically and as a race. We are so stuck in this revulsion that we forget that we are a sum total of a much greater thing and that is our humanness, our humanity.
We hear and see countless stories of people rolling-up-their-sleeves, to assist a total stranger. The ripple effect of such selfless act is enormous.
A kind hearted lady who buys or supplements a poor person’s groceries and expects nothing in return is an act of humanity.
Adopting a child from an orphanage, and giving that child all the love and support as if that child is your own biological child is an act of humanity.
Give some food or money to an homeless person without being judgemental is an act of humanity
Helping our elderly to cross the road is an act of humanity.
Paying our workers a decent wage is an act of humanity.
Employees working an extra hour, going beyond the call of duty is an act of humanity.
When we discuss matters on this forum or elsewhere, when we impart knowledge and/or opinion is an act of humanity.
If we can embrace our humanistic values, nothing is insurmountable.
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