Inspiring story

2009-03-05 00:00

To some people the news media appear to be nothing more than a bunch of cynics who constantly trumpet bad news and rub people’s noses in it. Certainly it is a fact that conflict, crime, corruption and incompetence are issues that draw a journalist’s attention. However, while it is important that newspapers continue to tell the bad news so that the public can be informed about, and react against, the evils in our society, it is necessary to be reminded that these things are the exception rather than the rule.

It was therefore particularly heartening that this paper yesterday was brightened by one of those inspiring stories which serve to remind us that there is still a great deal of good — much of which goes unreported — happening in our midst. Few readers cannot have been moved by the story about the prominent city surgeon and the unfortunate orphan, disfigured by a massive tumour.

A heart-warming story such as this contains so many different elements: the teachers at a city school doing what all good teachers should do in teaching their pupils life lessons of compassion and caring, the young pupils themselves radiating love and compassion to the socially marginalised sufferer, and the surgeon who has been moved to use his time and his money to do something selflessly to bring about positive change in someone’s life.

South Africa, with its troubled past, the challenge of HIV and Aids and its developing-nation inequalities, is fertile ground for those who either individually or in groups feel moved to do something positive for society. Those who make it their business to help the less fortunate in this country or to improve the environment, deserve our appreciation.

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