Digging deep to fix societal challenges

2019-12-11 16:25
Working together has the potential to change society, says the writer. (iStock)

Working together has the potential to change society, says the writer. (iStock)

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All South Africans and the citizens of the rest of the world need to dig deep to fix their countries and provide a better life for all people.

People from all walks of life must commit to impacting positively at least one person a day with something empowering and legal.

These acts of kindness, could come in the form of a gift, motivational support, encouraging someone who is seeking assistance in one area or area of his or her life.

The acts of goodness should start with the individual being exemplary in their life through committing to making only constructive contributions to society at all times.

Then people need to commit to the building and betterment of their families by, among other ways, listening and understanding other people's point of views.

This would also include welcoming the other person or people's point of view when it has been proven that you got it wrong "this time around".

This would spread into community activities.

From cleaning schools and sports fields to forming support structures that assist residents with their daily challenges.

We need to go the extra mile in fixing societal ills without forcing our way into other people's lives and issues affecting them, except when we have been asked to do so.

We need to be innovative by searching and asking around for information that can help to create jobs and help people to reach their dreams and goals while they fulfil their purposes.

Libraries and information centres are resources that people need to fully use in building themselves and others.

The sharing of information and resources and the transferring of skills and developmental knowledge to others has proved to be highly effective in areas where this practice has occurred, all over the world.

The most highly prosperous countries in the world have citizens working together through "thick and thin" to find answers to challenges that confront their communities.

They have shown that the process of fixing a country is not necessarily smooth and that mistakes will occur from time to time.

And at times mistakes can occur more often than not.

But it is the goal of bettering people's lives that drives citizens to do all they can do to find one another when the tough gets going.

In fact, the prosperous nations went on to discover that it is through the trying times that the best solutions are found. They have learnt that mistakes are opportunities to learn and grow.

It is reasonable to say that communities don't lack the people to start and lead these initiatives.

But what appears to be lacking is the will to persevere and be patient when things don't seem to be coming together.

When certain individuals get off the planned programme of developing communities due to nefarious agendas, people and structures in communities can be seriously tested.

Sadly, many people at times can start thinking that the wrongs that happened in similar programmes and projects before are re-emerging and that nothing will workout just like in the past.

However, research shows that whenever people try to build communities together, there's actually more good they can take from the past and mix it with the current opportunities including new technology, information and resources.

The faults of the past can actually be a powerful resource combined with the experiences and knowledge of not wanting to repeat the wrongs and improving from the weaknesses of the past processes.

New people and skills are likely to be available for the current era of reconstruction and development.

Guiding rules and regulations are promoted not as punishment but to protect the work being undertaken to improving the lives of all people.

For things to workout according to plan, everybody and the structures involved need to accept the aims and objectives of the community based on the needs of the area.

Local media, community meetings and other forms of communication are important instruments in keeping everyone informed, educated and motivated about the current developments.

An attitude of "let's try this idea first and see if it will work", and then trying other people's ideas later if the need arises, should form the basis of the work of developing communities.

A system of valuing and appreciating everybody's idea or ideas must be compulsory so that people don't feel neglected and not valuable.

A database of ideas, skills set, resources and every other instrument to make the work progress successfully would have to be a strategic enabler to be constantly used maximally.

Anybody can kick-start and/or jump-start the process of bringing the community together, even if it's not everyone at first.

But we can reach out and connect with all the community structures to map a way forward in dealing with societal ills and the triple effects of poverty, unemployment and inequality.

So, to all the active citizens all over the world, the ball is certainly in your courts to build your community and a better world.

Thandisizwe Mgudlwa

Read more on:    community development  |  society
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