Another year looms large and all of us can boast to having survived the “Mayan apocalypse” – a flop, as far as I’m concerned. Fortunately, South Africans are quite used to being let down on a daily basis so we are well-equipped emotionally to deal with that.
Many have pointed out that the Mayan epochs are not about physical beginnings and endings, but are rather about something deeper and more important for humanity. The author is not given to moments of sentiment, however, in the spirit of ancient wisdom, is interested in what new beginnings readers will be making in the coming year.
This is not about New Year’s Resolutions and is rather intended to draw from the beauty of expectation and the positivity of prospects for a better year ahead.
This past year was pretty miserable in many ways for all South Africans and none of us went unscathed to a greater or lesser degree. A lucky few were only victims of economic strains such as increasing petrol and food prices, but most have been subjected to economic and other challenges of more significant impact.
Through all of that, I believe that South Africans have a certain resilience and will to succeed. There is a powerful , positive spirit that has kept the country free of civil war and thus far, free of its own Arab spring (although we all wonder whether this would be a positive development.)
In fact, those tragic developments can still be avoided if ordinary citizens make the correct decisions and refuse to accept less than they constitutionally deserve in a constitutional manner.
What can we do, as ordinary people, to make a difference? Can we support small, local businesses? Can we encourage entrepreneurs and job creation? Can we be thankful for the beauty of nature around us? I’m not sure, because I’m a renowned cynic.
There are few notches on our belts left to tighten… but it is not only about squeezing every last drop out of our finances. Sometimes the difference is just a smile.
Thing about the cashier that is just doing their job at your local supermarket - rather than looking at them as if they have lost their minds when you see the final number rung up on the till, thank them with a smile. In fact, when you arrive at the till, knowing the financial hiding you are about to be given, why not even greet the cashier with a smile?
There is not much that many of us can contribute to others financially, but we can ALL collectively generate a more positive attitude. And apparently, positive attitudes can have far reaching consequences…
See you all shortly with more about the numerous candidates deserving our criticism, but for tomorrow, I’m going to try say and do something nice.