First things first, everybody needs to please stop moaning about the state of our nation. Seriously – get over it. Moaning helps absolutely no one. The more you do it, the more you create what is referred to as a self-fulfilling prophecy: a prediction that directly or indirectly causes itself to become true. I’ve read many articles on this forum, most of them depicting a very grim future for us all. Sometimes I wonder if all these prophecies of doom aren’t just another excuse to throw in the towel? Because, lets face it – we are pretty damn good at finding excuses and giving up hope.
Blame the current Government, blame the past Government or even blame the Church, it all only amounts to hot air. Point, shout, moan and cry all you like, everybody listens (do they?) to you but no one is going to do a damn thing about it. We are masters at offloading our problems at someone else’s feet; it’s on the cusp of turning into a speciality of sorts. All you have to do is sit on your couch, flip on that TV or computer and relax. There’s nothing you can do about it in any case is there? You’re just a lonely old you, content in following the words of others and voicing your concerns from a distance. Excuses are the bane of society. Stop acting the victim or making up new reasons to be one in the first place – you are the only answer we have. There are difficulties, fine – let’s sort them out.
Thinking that the generations to come will yield answers is a very unsound judgement. Most of the country is unaware of the dire situation its youth is in, not only the poor, but the rich as well. Currently, the poor of South Africa hate the rich; I use such a strong word because if I were poor, I’d hate the rich kids as well. I am a well-off individual, yet when I stand around the kids with wealth in this country, I cringe at their collective disregard for dignity and respect towards those with less.
The next time you go out, whether it’s a nightclub, restaurant or just walking down the street, just watch closely: watch us take our thousand-Rand drugs, arrive in our million-Rand cars and before we forget, let us pose and take photos so that we can show everybody on the internet with enough time to care, what a wonderful time it is that we are all having. What infuriates me about it all is they have been given an extreme leg-up and seemingly do not give two flying farts about anyone other than themselves. These are the members of our future that are supposed to keep the country afloat and progressing towards a better outcome for all. If the current generation of parents were to pass, I doubt a mere handful of all the rich young adults that I know will be able to pick up the flag and run with it. Yet, no one cares and parents keep forking out because they can. Party on Garth! Party on Wayne!
The first step to all of this is accepting that we have a massive problem (duh!). You and I – the ones reading this, sitting behind our nifty computers and smartphones – are that problem. One question remains important to me; “Why do we continue to allow the state of our country to remain on its current path?” All I can conclude on the matter is that we allow it to continue because it is the easy choice to make. We don’t want to do anything about it and so we don’t. We read and hear the latest on what is going wrong in our country and then wait for someone else to take action; just no one ever does. We have to start taking action my friends, each one of us; it’s the only thing that actually helps. Don’t just throw money at your “cause”, actively start it, or join it.
So what can you do? Everyone feels that his or her individual contribution won’t be enough and that extending a hand will just end up with your whole arm being taken. This isn’t true. Our main advantage over all our previous generations is our ability to communicate over a vast array of mediums – we are the information age. We already understand and use these mediums on a daily basis, each one reading this article knows how to and what to do in order to get here. This is not the scenario for 90% of the country. They are ignorant of everything we take as given because they are simply not exposed to it. When they are exposed to anything it is by word of mouth or by a bunch of shirt-giving hooligans arriving at their doorstep in townships telling them there’s more shirts to come if they simply vote ANC! That is their reality. They don’t know what Zuma is up to apart from what the headlines in Die Son tells them is happening, they don’t know what the ANC is up to apart from the youth league members who parade down their streets chanting hate-hymns and they sure as hell don’t know what everyone else is doing because their too busy cleaning toilets or servicing customers day-in and day-out.
It’s time to show them. It’s time to get more and more people wiser to the absolute shite storm that is our current situation. What follows is what my older brother suggested and what I have started doing as much as possible – because it helps, truly. Show anyone and everyone that you know who does not engage in the activates that you do, how to use their mobile phone to access the internet, some sites to go to and how they can find out whatever they deem important at the touch of a button. Thanks to economies of scale that the big companies enjoy, cell phones are relatively cheap, making them a common commodity amongst absolutely everyone with most of them able to surf the web.
Empower the people that empower you. Start talking to the people, don’t tell them what their doing wrong, show them how you do it right. Small changes are all we need, the big changes take extreme amounts of time, time we do not have. One of my personal favourites is to engage in casual chat with the workers at our factories, to hear what they have to say and to try understanding how they think. Most of them when asked what they’d do if they were in Zuma’s position tell me straight away they’d fill their own pockets and that of their family and friends. After enlightening them to the fact that they are currently voting someone into power that was in their position and who comes from a similar background, they start to laugh and question what it is they are actually doing. Get people to think. Get people to question. Get people to understand.
Small changes can have massive effects; someone just has to initiate them, hopefully this is you. The more people we get onto an equal footing, the more our efforts are not wasted and the less we have to shout at each other. I offer my small contribution, what are some of yours?