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The facts of life

19 January 2014, 21:21

There are some dangerous misconceptions which the ANC is perpetuating, as if they are gospel and self-evident, and these should be addressed before South Africans go to the polls later this year.

Firstly, it should be obvious to anybody with half a brain, and more so to anybody who has received even a basic education, that nobody’s standard of living can improve when there are roughly the same number of taxpayers as there are people receiving stuff for free. This, as Mr Spock would say, is Illogical.

To expect free stuff in terms of hand outs, subsidies, houses, education, medical attention, electricity, food or grants one must also expect somebody else to pay for it.

Anybody who has ever made a budget knows that if more goes out – is spent – than comes in – is earned – then a deficit is created. This deficit grows daily, monthly or yearly until one balances it by either spending less or earning more. The above is true of people, businesses and governments and whether one likes it or not it will always be so.

There is no pot of gold at the end of the rainbow and equally there are no money trees or free lunches. Everything must balance at some point or the money runs out and you starve and subsequently die. This is also true of people, businesses and governments.

Economics 101, deal with it, understand it and learn to live with it. Your standard of living depends solely on how hard you work - nothing more and nothing less.

Secondly, just as not all can have the same standard of living, not everyone can be the boss. Somebody must do the work and somebody must take responsibility, and be accountable, if the work is done or not done – this being the boss.

Thus, if you want to be the boss you must work harder, you must excel at what you do and you must put in the extra hours. You may eventually become the boss but you must always remember that everybody else has the same aim and therefore you had better be the best at what you do, and remain so.

This is another fact of life so either deal with it or remain unhappy and unfulfilled.

Thirdly, there is a big difference between being ruled and being governed, between rulers and governments.

Rulers tend to be despotic, dictatorial and they cling to power through force of arms and the suppression of rights and freedom whereas governments generally govern their people by way of leadership, ability and vision. Also, rulers need to be physically overthrown whilst governments can be voted out – much simpler, less effort required and it does make life more interesting.

Nobody should want to be ruled and all should want to be governed by those they elect to lead them, show them the way and take them to a better place.

If you wish to be ruled rather than governed then also be prepared to be ruled by someone who cares not one iota for how you feel, how you live or how you die.

Fourthly, we are not all equal.

We are not machines, nor are we cloned or made from the same mould. We are all individuals with our own wants, needs, ideas, hopes and desires.

We all wish we could be as rich as Bill gates, as good at golf as Tiger Woods or as good looking as Brad Pitt. Well some of us, anyhow.

The bottom line is that the majority of us will work hard our entire lives, and then die having achieved much less than the above. If however we have succeeded even modestly in what we set out to do at some stage in our lives then we can class ourselves as having been successful individuals - not equal to any but similar to most.

We may all be seen to be equal in terms of how we are treated by others, and how we treat them, but equality is a utopian idea with no basis in the real world for always there will be better, and lesser, individuals than you and I.

Again, deal with it and expect no favours from any in living your life as nobody really cares what you want, what you need or what your dreams are. These are yours only.

For the benefit of those who have understood the above I offer 2 further lessons of life.

One cannot go forward until one ignores the past and concentrates on the future.

If you wish to live in the past, and let it direct your anger, your frustration and your thinking then you cannot move forward.

Only when you discard from your mind where you come from, and the circumstances, and consciously decide to move forward will you do so and then only will you discover that the past cannot dictate your future because you yourself are responsible for where you are going, not some long dead ancestor nor something done to you in the past by another.

Finally, learn from your mistakes.

Making the same mistake again and again will never result in a different outcome. If you make a mistake, whilst driving, whilst working or when voting, accept the consequences of your actions, regardless of how ghastly they may be, and resolve to make a better choice next time, should you be given the opportunity.

In the meantime - until the choice can again be made - live with it but remember why you made the mistake, what the outcome was, how much you regret it and most importantly why you should avoid making it again. Sometimes you don’t get a second chance.

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