Are South Africans Drowning in a Glass Half Full?

2015-03-25 12:40

Amongst the nations of the world, South Africans no doubt fall into the “glass half full” division. And we enjoy that space, because who (aside from maybe the Russians) would choose the unhappy alternative. It would just seem to be so un-South African. So we try and we try really hard. But it’s not always easy.

It’s not easy when we are told that Eskom is costing the economy up to R80 Billion per month as a result of load shedding. When the price of power is set to surge and where petrol will follow suite dragging with it all the implications of inflation and added cost of living. It’s not easy to remain positive when our roads department is a shambles and traffic lights don’t work and surfaces remain pot holed and dangerous. It’s not easy when we read about the state of many of our state run hospitals where patients are told to return in seven years for surgery that is required not in seven years but today. When the standard of education is plummeting and textbooks are lost and teachers abandon classrooms for a host of legitimate and illegitimate reasons. When corruption is the Ebola of our nation and has spread uncontrolled through all sectors, and where simply, there is little sense that the doctor is “In the house”.

It’s not easy when this morning’s headline on News24 laments “Medics held at Gunpoint while Saving a Child’s Life” and tells the story of a robbery that occurred in the back of an ambulance whilst the paramedics were trying to stabilize a 5 year old who was experiencing seizures. It’s not easy when its nigh on impossible tell the difference as to whether the post office is on strike or working (I swear I really have no idea) and when the application for my 16 year old son’s ID document made in August of last year has simply disappeared and noted “Untraceable” in the murky chaos of Home Affairs.

It’s not easy when the President at the SA Local Government Association calls the people of his country “Lazy” and dreams out loud of what he would do if he were to be a dictator for a year, “democracy being the stumbling block” to real progress (you can’t actually make this stuff up). And although there is comfort in the fact that he acknowledged very real and valid concerns with regard to the horrific over spend on consultants, the employment practices of various municipalities as well as a worry about the culture of expectation amongst the youth, one needs to remember that he is actually the leader of this blessed country. And has been for some time. So although I found myself nodding in agreement with some of the valid points he made, and almost (but not quite) thinking “Yeah! You tell them!” I did have to remind myself that he is in fact the President and not the leader of the opposition. Which would have made a lot more sense. That is the twilight zone that South Africans inhabit.

And it’s not easy when we lose the cricket. When we could have won. And it’s not easy when we think about the potential that we have in South Africa in terms of mineral resources, natural beauty, and limited natural disasters, and how we should be an example to the world, but are not. We really couldn’t be blamed for thinking that the glass is not only half empty but that it is cracked and decrepit and is in danger of being taken from us at gunpoint.

But somehow we do. Mostly we do see the funny side, we laugh at ourselves and even feel strange affection for the President with all his wives (some of whom want to poison him from time to time) and with his Nkandla and with his famous laugh and less famous dance moves. And we shake our heads at Eskom and we buy generators and we continue to support the Proteas. Somehow, we manage to keep adding to the glass even as it strains under the pressure. Somehow for South Africans it just seems to remain half full. Go figure.

News24 Voices Terms & Conditions.

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X

AB praises selfless skipper

2010-11-21 18:15

Inside News24

 
/News
 

And the Paws24 and Hill's winners are ...

Find out who the winners of our Paws24 pet pics and Q&a competitions are...

 

Paws

Keep your family and pets safe from rabies
5 scientific benefits of owning a cat
Why we love cats
8 great natural remedies for your pet
Traffic Alerts
Traffic
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.