No shame in cleaning up

2017-09-21 06:00

AFTER a serious accident on Marine Drive and Bond Street in Uvongo, a carpet of glass shards covered the road.

Although an employee from the road department assured me that the road would be cleared, but as usual, no action was taken.

As a reservist in Johannesburg I always carried a broom and dustpan on our vehicle to clear the road of dangerous debris when I responded to a complaint of an accident.

My friend recounted how he had approached a local station commander, recommending that the police sweep glass into the gutter, to prevent damaging tyres and consequently, another accident.

His reply was, “My police members are not road cleaners.”

My sister, a professor of medicine, who has received numerous awards (including from an American president), does not consider it demeaning to clean her flat and wash her vehicles.

If one can ensure the safety of the public, why must one be too proud to undertake menial work? As a police reservist, I assisted the fire department extinguish fires, I was part of a team aiding people during flash floods and my partner and I helped in the squatter camps.

A major, international charitable organisation, the first to respond to dire situations, is the Gift of the Givers, which comprises numerous academics.

Armed with a broom and dustbin, I swept the junction of Marine Drive and Bond Street, to remove the dangerous glass.

I have five university degrees and am a senior citizen in my seventies.

A person of worth does not have to boast status, but is one who has confidence and is self-assured and performs one’s task optimally.

A proficient, skilled gardener is more worthy than a useless, university graduate and an efficient labourer, rather than a corrupt parliamentary minister.

South Africans, and especially residents in KwaZulu-Natal, where there is an absence of compassion, must replace their life philosophy of “me for myself” to “think of others”.

DR L.J. PELTZ

RAMSGATE

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