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Sheena St Clair Jonker
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Some free advice for our politicians

22 March 2014, 09:56
Disclaimer: I am not a wannabe politician. I am not a wannabe economist. I may be a wannabe world free-diving champion. I may be a wannabe Paralympic swimmer. I kid, I kid. Or not. But I digress.

Elections are coming up on 7 May this year and all hell seems to be breaking loose. There seems to be a feeding frenzy of political parties scoring shots off opponents’ weaknesses. And let’s face it. All of them have weaknesses. Absolutely all of them.

You can gain ground in two ways:

One: By exposing and scoring shots off the weak points and the “evils” committed by your opponent

Two: By promoting who you are, what you stand for and that you genuinely are committed to addressing the plight of the people of South Africa.

The one is quick fix, instant gratification. Much like take-out. The results are instant. But the damage is often hard to detect in the short term, but it is there long term, and it is far-reaching, maybe devastating.

The other is borne out of wisdom, grace, intention and courage. Harder to do, tougher to get right but way more sustainable.

I’ll let you decide which is which.

Here is some all-encapsulating free advice. If you are not the one. If you are not the party that is going to motivate South Africans everywhere to become part of the solution, rather being part of the problem, then please, in your own interests, and in the interests of us all, please step back.

What does being part of the solution look like? Well something like this: I (the figurative I) need to get profoundly not ok with the deep divisions that exist within South African society. Political divisions, social divisions and economic divisions. I need to realise that if I continue to be ok with my brothers and sisters down the road from me living in shacks and with compromised access to clean water, then not only am I perpetuating harm in respect of them, but I am perpetuating harm in respect of myself. Yes, just by being ok with the status quo, I am perpetuating harm. It is in all of our interests to become deeply inconsolable in the face of this status quo. It is in all of our interests that we join together, all of us to seek solutions that will see more and more South Africans each day being able to authentically participate in the economy of our land.

Are you that organization? Then step up. Be the encourager. Be the motivator. Be the promoter. Be the changer of minds and hearts. Go do it. You will accomplish much.

You can also accomplish much by being a detractor, by scoring shots off your opponent, by trading off fear and hatred. But here is a little more free advice: your accomplishment will not amount to anything good, durable and sustainable.

It’s time to mobilize hope in our land.

Aluta Continua
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