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The Fox 5366
 
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Ignore the Government

13 August 2012, 08:27

Seeing as Claudia Meads started her article (http://www.news24.com/MyNews24/Three-reasons-South-Africa-will-fail-20120809 ) with a quote, here's one which popped into my mind after I'd finished reading it: "Life's but a walking shadow, a poor player, that struts and frets his hour upon the stage, and then is heard no more; it is a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing." (William Shakespeare)

My purpose for writing this article, dear reader, is to prove that politics is simply a factor in life, but not the dominant factor.

The question isn't "Will ANC ruin South Africa?" but rather "How will all South Africans achieve their divergent dreams?"

In my opinion, humans are incredibly resilient, and hardship is relative. If you've been raised with a silver spoon in your mouth, it might well be argued that having the under floor heating in your house go out is exactly the same form of hardship as suffered by a starving child in sub-Saharan Africa who faces another day on an empty belly.

My point with that observation is simply that 'failure' is relative, and you'd need to definite it pretty carefully before you could talk about South Africa's failures or successes.

In my personal experience, living in South Africa, politics has been the backing soundtrack to my life, but not the dominant tune. That's been a personal choice, and you can make it too.

As I've fallen in and out of love, liked movies and hated books, played games and made enemies, gotten married and figured out how to stay married, the role played by government has been something I've watched on the 19:00 news before Survivor.

For each and every one of 'Government's' responsibilities, there is an equal and greater personal responsibility when it comes to 'success'. For example:- Government supplies the roads. I learn to drive.- Government supplies the education. I have to study.- Government supplies the regulatory framework. I find a job.- Government prints the money. I try to budget.- Government pays for the police. I take care to lock my door.

I deem my life over the last ten years in South Africa to be a success. In that time, I matriculated, I got a University degree, I got married, I quadrupled my starting salary in three successive jobs, and my credit record is still squeeky clean. Why then should South Africa be deemed a failure, if it provided me with the platform for my success? I'm not going to cast that stone.
I don't look to the Government for help or curse it for my failures. Yes, a couple of potholes have taken out a few of my car tires, but I've become a more cautious driver as a result. Yes, my first car was stolen, but I've since had to buy my own cars and value comprehensive insurance and vehicle tracking. Yes, the electricity has failed a  couple of times, and I've eaten out at fastfood places as a result.

Why share all of this? Because personal experience and effort is all that counts in life. It doesn't matter whether you're in the United States or in South Africa, you can ruin your own life just as quickly with only a handful of bad decisions - regardless of the Government.

I don't live in fear of the Government every day of my life for much the same reason I don't live in fear of being hijacked or falling down a set of stairs. Bad things happen, and worrying about them won't prevent it - all you can do is take reasonable precautions and keep your nose clean.

Ultimately, all South Africans could not emigrate even if they wanted to. There isn't enough money or space in the world for a countrywide evacuation. Chances are, if you're focused on the Government's 'failures' you're too busy passing the buck for your own responsibility in life: to make the best of it.

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