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Dolf Scheepers
 
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When it happens it happens to all of us

25 February 2013, 09:00

Icons, celebrities, super stars, hero’s or whatever we call standing out in society have an inherent similarity to ordinary citizens and that is that somewhere in their makeup they are also normal.

The past 12 months saw devastating impacts on various sports celebrities. How painful is it to see Joost van der Westhuizen the former rugby hero (see him walking and listening to him talking), Mark Boucher our cricket celebrity almost losing his eye in a freak accident in a cricket match. Now we have Oscar Pistorius, world renowned athlete shattered following a life changing four shots killing his girlfriend. Reeva Steenkamp died as a model, celebrity and known personality. Lance Armstrong was centre in a drug scandal. Many years ago it was Tiger Woods and his “underground lifestyle” and the most famous for South Africans was Hansie Cronje and his match fixing scandal and eventual tragic death – now Oscar follows in his footsteps.

What has happened to all of them is normal and happens to the ordinary citizens every day. Anine Booysen lost her life through rape and left her parents behind in a dramatic rape case in Bredasdorp in the Western Cape. The former investigating officer Botha in the Pistorius case in what is described as “bad day” in the witness stand has been taken off the case - all of a sudden to hear that a case of attempted murder withdrawn many years ago has been reopened –in the late afternoon after his dismal witness appearance in court. What an unbelievable coincidence on a day when it seems as if the state had no foot to stand on against Oscar - quick thinking by the powers to be shattering an ordinary policeman?

Are we prepared for the “happening” in our lives –if we are hardworking labourers, blue collar workers, politicians or if we are executions and celebrities? In a recent interview cricket star Mark Boucher was very realistic saying that the accident causing him to lose out site in his eye and thereby not reaching the milestone 150 test match could have happened in his first or second test of his career leaving him without a career. He is very thankful even if this has happened.

Following a heart operation eight years ago I read the book“Halftime” making me realize that it is time to get to the change room of life, re strategize, redirect certain priorities and to make that life change for the second half or what is intended to be a last half of my life”. As it is referred the change from Excellence to Significance. Am I achieving full significance– no – I have to get back to the change room of life from time to time and again do adjustments.

I heard Joost talking to Jacaranda radio station in the past week on his birthday and realized that the once hero of Loftus Versfeld rugby stadium and the rugby nation is just as ordinary as all of us, he is just worse off as he has a daily counter on his life and he knows it. Ordinary people and celebrities all have a counter but we don’t see or hear it “tick”. Mark Boucher has taken his second half and moved in a worthy charity focusing on anti-rhino pouching. Our counter could reach its target in seconds without warning us - did Oscar think his Valentines day would be such a disaster?

Oscar, following his gloom, glamour, fight for recognition and achieving success has a hard gravel road ahead, whatever the outcome of the court case his life has changed forever the night of 13 February – he should still be in the mode of Excellence and he would probably have to go to the change room of life and decide which way forward. Reeva Steenkamp did not have a chance in live to get to the change room and call halftime – she was still young and in her Excellence phase not necessary to re strategize. She was still on the compass and GPS phase with a call for “recalculating” now and then, change direction and move on in success. But the ordinary girl from Bredasdorp, Anine Booysen followed the same route as Reeva – a world just as shattered about her death as with Reeva.

For Oscar the GPS have temporarily switched off as any direction now might be the wrong direction and the court has put limitations on his direction – the outcome of the court case starting in June 2013 will determine his next and new direction. Hard life………but faith, prayer and belief are the cornerstones of his life, more than ever before.

And the families -in situations like this families and close friends make changes, choices and sacrifices – each of the mentioned celebrities’ families and friends made sacrifices. Bitterness at least with the Booysen and Steenkamp families and so many we don’t know whilst uncertainty will haunt the Pistorius family for many months to come.

It happens to all of us – when we are in the run for Excellence we must listen to the GPS of life and the recalculating turnaround messages. When the time of our life is there we must go to the change room of life and strategize for Significance – our counter of life ticker could change its stance in seconds.

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