I have always felt a profound respect for any person who had overcome life’s limitations and to have reached the zenith of their discipline. No matter how spectacular the performance in one area of life one is never excused for the other failings, or potential failings, we are face with when life gets in the way.
My first impression of Oscar Pistorius as an exceptional man with human frailties emerged during the London Paralympics. As with all great athletes who demonstrate a strong aversion to placing second, his knee-jerk reaction in declaring his opponent a cheat simply demonstrated an inability to accept the inevitable. At all times we should be able to applaud the performance of an adversary. Someone who’s struggle to achieve may have been as or more difficult than one’s own. I did not see that capacity in this remarkable man. As a South African living abroad, I always felt a secret pride in his achievements which were consistently covered in the international press. I wanted to make excuses for his perceived shortcomings. I still do.
I do not know enough about the other events in Mr. Pistorius’ eventful life. The gun in a restaurant, the boat accident, the ex girlfriend. etc.. That’s life. That’s his business.
I cannot imagine experiencing a night like the night of the 14th February, 2013. I cannot imagine being the one to pull the trigger. Whether I am making a horrible mistake or, for that matter, aiming with intentional venom to castrate a potential attacker who might inflict unspeakable pain and suffering on myself or my most precious darling.
It’s the way of so much pain in my beloved country. On the farms and in the homes, no matter how well protected, there remains the palpable fear of rape in all its forms. Rape of my home, of my property, of those most dearest to me.
I cannot imagine that dark night. Of waking to realize all my fears have come to this. Of hearing the unfamiliar sounds of another in my home.
"That is why we have armed ourselves".
I cannot imagine that night.
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