Thought for the Day 26 July 2017
I was listening to the radio in my car today. The talk-show host and his listeners were discussing a few issues that have come up in the last few days – one is about black girls and hairdo’s another is about a black headmaster in a colored area another is about whether Cyril Ramaposa is black or non-white. For me all of these topics are symptomatic of the fact that South Africa is confused about what is important and what is not. I understand that people get hot under the collar about a whole host of things. Different people chose different things to rant about.
Me, I think all of this is just so much hot air. And many people will say I’m missing the point. I don’t think I am but I do concede that I think the point is irrelevant. None of these things are important in the greater scheme of things. These are NOT real problems, they are symptoms of real problems not being solved. And because we all feel helpless in terms of the real problems we engage in displacement activity that allows us to get the shit off our liver.
However, if we really want South Africa to be the country of our dreams, we must stop wasting our energy. We must focus on the real issues and solve them. Once we have done so and the dust has settled, we’ll be amazed and how many symptoms disappear or don’t need to be discussed any more. In my opinion the real problems are as follows:
- Poverty and all that goes with it – homelessness or living in sub-normal conditions, malnutrition or starvation, poor health and associated with all these, feelings of hopelessness, and being ignored by the system.
- The wealth gap – poverty is caused by this gap but there is simply too big a chasm between the very rich and the very poor. The very rich can never use all of the wealth that they have and wouldn’t miss a chunk of it if it vanished overnight.
- Unemployment – these first three real problems are inextricably linked and unemployment results in poverty.
- Housing or the lack of it to the poor and underprivileged.
- Corruption, which is systematically bankrupting the country and concentrating wealth in a few powerful, greedy, self-serving individuals who don’t give a damn about anything else but them. This is a blight on this country and must be eradicated.
- A stagnant economy, resulting from many factors including the above.
- And finally education. Our whole education system needs to be redesigned around a different set of outcomes. But the most important of these are employability, ability to survive and prosper in the new-age environments and the attitudes of working hard and working smart. I was once told that there are two types of people in the world – expectators and aspirators. The first type expects the world to owe them a living and sits back waiting for it to happen. The second get off their proverbial asses and make things happen. It doesn’t take a rocket-scientist to work out which type is preferable.
I believe that solving the above few real issues would go a long way to solving many, if not all, of the symptomatic problems we waste energy debating and getting riled up about. So my thought for today is:
“Let us stop diverting ourselves and, as a society, focus on the real problems. Anything else is a distraction!”
And, if the government doesn’t have the inclination to do these things, they are a waste of space and we must get a new government.