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South Africa - A unifying dream

11 September 2012, 08:33
Efforts had been made by South Africans over time to define the cause or dream that will unify the people of South Africa into a high-performance society. They wanted people to break out of the clutches of social evils and journey the way to a future of prosperity.

We have had slogans and rally cries like "Black man, you are on your own", Amandla (Power to the People), A Better Life for All and recently Economic Freedom, Nationalization of the Mines and The Second Transition. These calls succeeded in mobilizing portions of the society every time, but left many people in the cold. We have never had a rallying call that included, united and mobilized all the people of South Africa around one cause or dream. Without unity in what we dream of and all hope, cry and work for, the emotional resonance of dissociation and rebellion will always neutralize the creative force and energy of enthusiasm, commitment and effort in society. Patriotism, humanness and compassion are vibrating at unprecedented low frequencies in our society. The killing of mine workers by the police in recent weeks had triggered tremors of fear in every household and institution. People were stunned and shocked by the warlike aggression and sheer absence of kindness, compassion and humaneness.

There are several social ills that had been plaguing our society for decades and have been targeted as focus areas in national development plans and road maps by active officials and citizens. Poverty, poor education, failing schools, unemployment, crime, poor health, racism, income inequality, poor service delivery, poor training, informal settlement and corruption are some of these social evils. These social ills have all been consuming mountains of resources in their individual administration, without a fair return on investment. The trillions of tax money spent on social relief and rehabilitation over more than a decade have done little to stop the rising creep of failure.

The reason for increasing failure lies in what Mother Teresa once said: “If we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other.” She also said: “The hunger for love is much more difficult to remove than the hunger for bread.” and “The most terrible poverty is loneliness, and the feeling of being unloved.”

The three institutions of society where love is the magnetic connecting and inspiring force are the family, the school and the workplace. Absence of love in these three institutions leads to the social ills and evil that destroy society and consume the taxes. When children grow up without love in the family and the school, they have nothing to share in the workplace and the community and they are thus doomed for life. They drift away and fall into the strong arms of evil and addiction. When love is absent in the workplace the spiritual component of human capital is stunted and all genius, creativity and ingenuity disappears. Steve Jobs, the iconic entrepreneur and business leader of Apple, who started and built the most valuable company in the world from within his parent’s home garage, once said: “The only way to do great work is to love what you do.”

The challenge we face as South Africans is to understand what love is and to invite it into our lives, into our families, our schools and the organizations that utilize human capital to make people happy, healthy and whole. Measuring the presence, prevalence and intensity of love in families, schools and organizations is easy. Just as we can measure electricity we can measure love. Love is the inspiring vibration caused by hope, caring, sharing, effort, excellence, integrity, responsibility, fairness, worship and loyalty. It prevails and peaks in the absence of toxic vibrations like fear, greed, envy, laziness, discrimination, selfishness and exploitation.

If we were to adopt a rally cry to transform South Africa into the social paradise that we all dream of, it would place love as the central motive of all creative social associations. A rally cry calling for love as the life force of all institutions must be born out of the hearts and minds of the people and cannot be the brainchild of a leader or party official. Love is not the intellectual property or sole trade currency of churches or religions. It is a human emotion, attitude and work tool. Only by consulting the people and getting their input on the role and inspiration of love, will a rally call evolve that will mobilize the masses into making the sacrifices that are needed to turn South Africa around.

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