Every single one counts

My week in the UK has been great fun so far. Aside from the fact that a cappuccino is costing me a week’s grocery shop, and a meal out just about equals my mortgage for the month, I’m very grateful to be able to be here, and to be spending my time with a handful of people who are very special to me.

Right now the sun is shining and I’m also grateful not to be back home in the torrential rain so aptly setting the mood for the continued political knickers-in-a-knot saga of our beautiful nation.

This doesn’t mean that I’m not somewhat aware, or that I don’t care. Despite being the almost eternal optimist, every now and again I find myself dipping with the general national mood. Right now though I’m not quite sure if that mood should be outrage – we’re so good at that! Or relief – that a powerful dynasty invisibly governing our country has officially been outed? Or hope – that the ANC will finally be dishing out a good hiding?

It’s been obvious for quite some time that factions of today’s governing party have veered horribly off the 1955 Freedom Charter path. The noble path of equality and equal rights, respect, security, protection of human rights and dignity, access to education, culture and housing, and an undertaking to live in peace and friendship… Yes, I do know that it’s complicated, but still…

What I know too is that if I have a good moan and point fingers, it’s not going to make a difference. If I worry too much, I’ll just be the one loosing sleep I can’t afford. If I complain and chastise, it won’t fix a thing.

What consequences could admirable action by the ANC today result in? Will it strengthen the Rand? Will it feed the hungry? Will it build houses? Will it afford education? Will it still the hatred? Will it help the farmers? Will it create more jobs? Will it increase SAs ratings? Will it gain respect?

To be honest, I haven’t got a cooking clue, but here’s my plan. Today I will smile, and fill my head with all the things that are wonderful about South Africa. If anyone asks what I think, I will be open about my concerns, but I won’t verbalise just the bad stuff. 

I will tell people that South Africa is a beautiful country, full of many incredible people with open minds and with warm hearts, filled with love for their neighbours. As normal citizens in an abnormal nation, we often just do the best we can. And if we can, then we’ll also do the best for those who can’t. 

I will tell everyone who is willing to listen, that if they want to invest in something that may change the course of history in our land, that in addition to praying, they should please go vote. It’s the most powerful weapon a citizen has in a democracy… and every single one counts!

Cartoon by Nick Anderson, Houston Chronicle
Cartoon by Nick Anderson, Houston Chronicle

 

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