A Guide to Celebrating Freedom Day

2015-04-26 17:21

A few things are easy to see; about the journey we have walked from the time the democratic South Africa was enacted in 1994 to where we are to day. We have seen the gradual collapse of culture; with regard to ESKOM the failure to manage a small wound has become a deep excruciating pain that has left us limping as we walk.

The strength of culture was sapped gradually by the slogans that says everyone is for himself. It is a society that has somehow regressed into the idolatry of deranged self-centred indulgence without ethical considerations. Conspicuous consumption of my Mercedes is bigger than yours genre is in full mode. Each determined to outshine the others.

Within this context the notions of social interest or Ubuntu that had built African communities for thousands of years have been put into snooze mode. Money and power at all costs, seem to have become prime desire. To get either, or both, people have been willing to suffer humiliation, disconnect themselves with their families and friends, betray trust and become numb to their shared humanity. The ultimate end being living a life of luxury, parties and conspicuous consumption. The preening, peacock sensibility.

The body language in smaller things as you interact with people show a pattern of their conscience seared with a hot iron as they deploy delusional tools, wizard strategies and deceptive techniques to pursue wealth without decent work and to glory in vanity at the expense of the poor masses.

It speaks to this evolving ethic of the individual, this apotheosis of self centredness, this promotion of wealth as the ultimate end at the expense of serving and contributing to the larger humanity. For the self centred person the notion of self sacrifice seems absurd and accounts to being foolish. For him or her life is about fun and personal indulgence: grasping with one hand and squandering with the other hand is his or her philosophy and daily autosuggestion.

In the midst of all this the glue that still holds South Africa is the image of Nelson Mandela. Nelson Mandela will forever remain the deodorizing and comforting spirit permeating our fractured humanity. Mandela is an enigma. Enigma of a kind: in decorum, integrity, manner, principle, dream, and determination. His enduring power is not external. His power is within. His power are those inner resources of integrity, discipline, honesty, frugality, nation building, vision, peace and unity.

Among the anchors of Mandela's humane teachings or doctrine have been the centralities of affecting your world long after you are gone. Your conduct, in touching lives, the positive deeds and words of wisdom you leave behind as a treasure that builds the dignity of the human person and society. This is the concern and inclination to protect the weak and socially challenged. From this flows a respect for the freedom of all that shapes values of a sound and prosperous society. A human being should live to serve other human beings and not just exist for the sake of his own self.

The Mandela Olympian should be referenced and invoked in all our public holidays. And in this Freedom Day that is being celebrated within the context of violent scenes of xenophobia we can meditate on his selflessness and regard for the common good of society - that saw him bringing people from diverging backgrounds and blending them into one modern South Africa.  In genuine reference to Mandela lies our hope: the power to rebuild, remould character, reform attitude and energise our traumatised humanity.

Let us walk with this wise old man. And he who walks with the wise will ultimately become wise, goes the proverbs.

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