Archive for the ‘transformation’ Category

The Politics of Love (from a book ‘The Passing Summer’ by Michael Cassidy)

May 6, 2013

 

rainbowroadArticle Title: The Politics of Love (from a book ‘The Passing Summer’ by Michael Cassidy)
Submitted by: Craig Lock
Key words (tags): Books, ‘The Passing Summer’ , Michael Cassidy, South Africa, Transformation, Negotiation, Love, Hope, Dreams,
Peace, Inspiration, Pursuit of Peace, Good Books, Politics, Political Negotiations (enough there now)

Web sites: http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=la_B005GGMAW4_sr?rh=i%3Abooks&field-author=Craig+Lockhttp://www.amazon.com/-/e/B005GGMAW4 www.creativekiwis.com/amazon.html and and http://goo.gl/vTpjk

The submitter’s blogs (with extracts from his various writings: articles, books and new manuscripts) are at http://peacepursuit.wordpress.com/

http://breakdownwalls.wordpress.com/

www.breakdownbarriers.wordpress.com

http://drmartinlutherking.wordpress.com/

www.buildbridgesofunity.wordpress.com

www.buildbridgesofunderstanding.wordpress.com

www.religiousunity.wordpress.com

and his various other blogs are at http://craigsblogs.wordpress.com/2013/09/28/craigs-blogs-and-writings/. Obsessive or WHAT!

“Don’t bend; don’t water it down; don’t try to make it logical; don’t edit your own soul according to the fashion. Rather, follow your most intense obsessions mercilessly.”

~ Franz Kafka


Other Articles are available at: http://www.selfgrowth.com/articles/user/15565 and http://www.ideamarketers.com/library/profile.cfm?writerid=981
(Personal growth, self help, writing, internet marketing, spiritual, ‘spiritual writings’ (how ‘airey-fairey’), words of inspiration and money management, how boring now, craig)

Publishing Guidelines:

These writings (as with all my articles) may be freely published electronically or in print (with acknowledgment to Michael Cassidy, please).

Introduction:
Craig is currently researching and writing his latest novel based on fact, set in the the “beloved country” of South Africa: To try to make some difference in building bridges in an ever more dangerous and volatile world. And as he learns from his research, is sharing this extract from a chapter of Michael Cassidy’s excellent book ‘THE PASSING SUMMER’ (originally published in the darkest days of 1989). Though “rather religious” from my perspective, I believe Michael Cassidy makes some excellent points and his book written many years ago in the darkest days of repression has a vitally important message for today’s turbulent world.

A South African pilgrimage in the politics of love.
(Published by Hodder and Stoughton, 1989)

by Michael Cassidy*

* Michael Cassidy is the author of ‘Burning the Wineskins’, ‘Chasing the Wind’ and ‘A Witness Forever’. He is the founder of African Enterprise, a continent wide evangelic association.

*
“A man has not started living, until he can embrace the concerns of all humanity.”
– Booker T Washington (or was it Dr Albert Schweizer??)

WINNING IN THE WORLD’S WORKSHOP

Try to ‘THINK SOLUTIONS’ for the problems of this world.

South Africa is the one nation in the world, which approximately reflects the racial composition on planet earth (as well as being a country with a mix of Jews, Christians and Moslems living harmoniously). As such, it’s a microcosm of the world in terms of its population demographics..and as a result it’s the “workshop of the world”.
This is a debate about the future of our life together on this small earth – about relations between rich and poor, between races and ideologies. Indeed about the meaning of freedom,
peace and justice in a deeply disordered world. I’m talking here about ALL of us and ALL of our lives.

Let’s see the ‘politics of love’ prevail in this ‘workshop of the world.’

THE POLITICS OF LOVE MEANS DEALING WITH ONE’S OWN HEART

The answer for South Africa (and the world) lies in the POLITICS OF LOVE. However the first step is a difficult one. It involves dealing with ones own heart. This is where the primary battlefield lies…and where we will reap the bitter fruit in full measure.

However, if love and forgiveness conquer in individual hearts, then love and forgiveness will conquer the country. If largeness of heart can vanquish shrunken narrowness of mind and spirit in you and me as individuals, if love can banish fear, if hope can overwhelm despair, if the positive can swamp the negative, then the nation can be born again.

But it has to start in the individual human heart. That is the battleground. If enough people win there, the nation wins. And if enough lose there, not only does the nation lose, but the nation is lost.

With a spirit of love, the highway then opens up to the politics of love.
“You may hate the sin, but never the sinner.”
Profess love for humanity. Love simply means desiring the highest and the best for the other person, respecting his dignity and viewing him with compassion and
forgiveness. Conquer anything with God’s infinite Grace.

If I don’t let it start in my own mind, I cannot let it start at all.

As Alan Paton once said,’ This is a country where you hope on Monday and despair on Tuesday.’ Where in the world is there such a positive challenge for young people as here?

May South Africa emerge finally under God as a nation which will not only bless the continent of Africa, but the whole world!

“For with me all things are possible.”

BELIEVE it and work hard for it.
(Matt 19:26
Mark 9:23, 10:27
Luke 18:27 )

Different perceptions lead to different solutions and it’s up to us to ‘dream the impossible dream’.

We are made or unmade by how we think. So programme our individual souls and thence the national soul with positive thoughts (“be transformed by the renewing of your mind” – Romans 12:2).

God is love, and on God’s self-giving rests the only ultimate hope of humanity. Let the spirit of love begin to take hold on the national soul, so that groups of people (different races, ethnicities) begin to think of the other before themselves and fully embrace virtue of love: to ‘do unto others what you would have them do unto you.’ (Matthew 7:12)

Trust in the Lord and do good, dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture (Ps 37:3)

Work hard doing one’s very best

then

LET GO, LET GOD, LET GOOD.
*

Now onto the controversial concept (in Jesus’s time and today) of

ENEMY LOVE:

Abraham Lincoln: “The only way to destroy your enemy is to make him your friend.”

When Christ said: “Forgive your enemies”, it is not only for the sake of the enemy, but for one’s own sake, ‘ because love is more beautiful than hate’. Hatred, like rust, eats into the soul of the individual and then an entire nation.
Jomo Kenyatta at Kenya’s independence said: “Unless we build our nation on forgiveness, we will lose the day.”

Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven’ (Matthew 5:43-45).

“Do not be overcome with evil; but overcome evil with good.”
(Rom 12: 14-21)

Enemy love needs to become part of a new vision, a new style of thinking and part of a moral ‘about face’, which so many of the world’s societies desperately need.

It worked for Gandhi in India, Martin Luther King in America, between black and white in South Africa!

Enemy love and the ‘politics of forgiveness’ will attempt its utmost to see the plight and real humanity of the enemy. Not “our cause is noble and theirs is evil.”

Enemy love and the politics of forgiveness require us to hate conditions, situations and policies; not individuals, who are never as evil as the social and political situations in which they are involved, and which they symbolise.

Forgiveness implies a willingness to seek to reshape the future in the light of the wrong, in the most creative way possible.

As Martin Luther King said at the height of the Civil Rights struggle:
“We must develop and maintain the capacity to forgive. He who is devoid of the power to forgive is devoid of the power to love. There is some good in the worst of us and some evil in the best of us. When we discover this, we are less prone to hate our enemies…
Forgiveness is not just an occasional act; it is a permanent
attitude.”

Each ONE of us can be a facilitator and mediator in this process.

William Wilberforce believed that submission to Christ was a man’s most important political, as well as religious decision. Define one’s political ideals in terms of freedom and equality…the highest good.
Mutual care, concern, unselfishness, conscience, worth, political vigilence and insight all form part of the ‘politics of love’.

My prayer is that all leaders of the world may find ‘the mind of Christ‘. If all converged on that ‘mind’, all the problems of the world would be solved.

The politics of love means working for structural reconciliation.
On this path lies the answer for South Africa. Inspire the planet with a new vision of hope. The golden rule is what life is all about. Jesus meant love to be the way in every area of life, including the political, because it is the BEST way….and the only way which works ALL of the time.

For these principles to work, it requires every person of good will, from the lowest to the highest to say: “I want to be part of the solution. What the ‘ordinary’ person does is critical here. For change will assuredly come from the grassroots of society… when enough people really want it and are prepared to be part of the process and press their leaders to bring in a new day. As Martin Luther King said:

“When evil men plot, good men must plan. When evil men burn and bomb, good men must build and bind. When evil men shout ugly words of hatred, good men must commit themselves to the glories of love. Where evil men seek to perpetrate an unjust ‘status quo’, good men must seek to bring into being a real order of justice.”

Coretta Scott King: The Words of Martin Luther King (London Collins Found, 1985 – Pg 51)

South Africa can and WILL encourage, inspire and bless the world.

We are to make straight in the wilderness a highway for our God.”
– Isiah 40:3

My prayer is that all leaders of the world may find ‘the mind of Christ’. If all converged on that ‘mind’, all the problems of the world would be solved.

Nothing is impossible and absolutely anything is possible with God.

Dream the impossible dream (see the end).

Michael Cassidy (from ‘The Passing Summer’, written in the darkest days of 1989)

sarainbow (fromflick.com)

South African rainbow (from http://www.flick.com)

 

 

About the author:
* Michael Cassidy is the author of ‘Burning the Wineskins’, ‘Chasing the Wind’ and ‘A Witness Forever’. He is the founder of African Enterprise, a continent wide evangelic association.

#
Submitted and shared by craig (Eagle Productions NZ)

eagle (isiah)

For my good friends Don and Lynda, who gave me Michael’s great book

 

 

 

 

“Let’s see things not as they are…
but what they can one day be.”

“When people’s hearts are filled with love, the world is full of hope
– craig

These writings may be freely published electronically or in print (with acknowledgment to Michael Cassidy, please).
PPS

To end off, lets reflect on the words of a leader who stood steadfastly for the values and for the causes of justice and freedom for all…

“Returning hate for hate multiplies hate, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars. Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.”

– Dr Martin Luther King, Jr

“Together, one mind, one heart at a time, let’s march into a bright new tomorrow.”

About the Submitter

In his various writings Craig attempts in some small way to advance the cause (at least the pursuit) of peace. He is currently “working” on his latest manuscript – a “novel”, yet a true story of transformation … from hatred to love in the cauldron of the Middle East titled ‘From Seeds of Hate to the Bonds of Love’.

The various books that Craig “felt inspired to write” (including ‘A New Dawn’) are available at

http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=la_B005GGMAW4_sr?rh=i%3Abooks&field-author=Craig+Lock  http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B005GGMAW4   www.creativekiwis.com/amazon.html and  http://goo.gl/vTpjk

The submitter’s blogs (with extracts from his various writings: articles, books and new manuscripts) are at http://peacepursuit.wordpress.com/

http://breakdownwalls.wordpress.com/

www.breakdownbarriers.wordpress.com

http://drmartinlutherking.wordpress.com/

www.buildbridgesofunity.wordpress.com

www.buildbridgesofunderstanding.wordpress.com

www.religiousunity.wordpress.com

and his various other blogs are at http://craigsblogs.wordpress.com/2013/09/28/craigs-blogs-and-writings/. Obsessive or WHAT!

“Don’t bend; don’t water it down; don’t try to make it logical; don’t edit your own soul according to the fashion. Rather, follow your most intense obsessions mercilessly.”

~ Franz Kafka


“Together, one mind, one heart at a time, let’s march into a bright new tomorrow.”

“Instead of the limits of borders (of countries and of our minds) let us and our leaders expand our sense of possibility… and together let’s look at building bridges to distant horizons, far and great. Lord, help us all lift our eyes a little higher.”

– craig

rAINBOW (touch)

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THE SOUTH AFRICAN DREAM : LONG WALK TO FREEDOM AND PEACE: THE “BRIDGE-BUILDER, THE RECONCILIATOR, THE DREAMER”

January 6, 2013

SAFLAG(good)

THE SOUTH AFRICAN DREAM :
LONG WALK TO FREEDOM AND PEACE: THE “BRIDGE-BUILDER, THE RECONCILIATOR, THE DREAMER”

Tags (key words): South Africa, dream, dreams, my young dream, ‘Long Walk to Freedom and Peace‘, Craig Lock, hope, New books, soccer,
Web sites: https://sawriter.wordpress.com and http://longwalktopeace.wordpress.com/

Here is a short extract from ‘Long Walk to Freedom and Peace‘ that craig is currently writing (or perhaps “it’s writing itself”)…

I don’t know how the story will end…

But I do know how it all began…

For Lynda and Sharon in “Joey’s”, and Steve, Glenda, Paula , Dylan and Graham in the beautiful mother city of Cape Town. Also to dearest mom and dad. Thanks for all the support, encouragement and most of all, love.
#
PROLOGUE

THE DREAM
It was a cold dreary mid-winter evening in 1975, a year before the Soweto riots that started a great upheaval in the “beloved” country.

The young man was very excited as he caught the bus to the soccer ground in Observatory to see a historic football match between the Greek-based side Hellenic (from the other side of the beautiful mother city) and the black team from Soweto outside Johannesburg (Egoli, the city of gold). Watching his team Cape Town City play at Hartleyvale was his usual Friday night entertainment during the long rainy winter at the Southern tip of the vast “dark” continent.

Even though it was a friendly soccer match , this was to be the first time a black team had played against a white team in the racially divided and rigidly repressed country. The game went off without incident; in spite of prior apprehension by many and was played in a great spirit. The young man marvelled at the exceptional ball skills displayed by the black players, their creativity, flair and finesse; but he also greatly valued the discipline in defence, self control and the stategic and tactical ‘nous’ of the white players in the opposing teams. It was a great contrast in styles, yet both added greatly to the spectacle through different and yet diverse sets of skills. It was as if the whole was greater than the whole.

Though relaxed, that night the blonde-haired man had difficulty getting to sleep … as the thoughts kept swirling around in his head. It hadn’t mattered who had won the game (though he thinks it may have been a draw). And these thoughts began to germinate in the days following. He always expressed himself far better in writing than the spoken word, so the next day he “penned” a letter to his beautiful girlfriend with the jet-black hair, Lynda … in which he shared a vision of the future…of what his “beloved” country could perhaps one day become through encompassing the best of both white and black cultures.
Sport for unity… as a tool in advancement for equality and freedom.

And a celebration of diversity… two worlds in one country…and one at peace with itself…at long last!

That was the young man’s dream in the dark days of the year nineteen seventy five

And that night as he lay in bed, “young whitey” recalled the words of former US senator, Robert Kennedy who had visited South Africa about eight years earlier:
“ Look at things not as they are, but what can they can perhaps one day become”
Then he fell into a deep sleep, peacefully, blissfully…
*
“Few (of us) will have the greatness to bend history itself, but each of us can work to change a small portion of events. It is from numberless diverse acts of courage and belief that human history is shaped. Each time a man (or woman) stands up for an ideal, or acts to improve the lot of others, or strikes out against injustice, (she or) he sends forth a tiny ripple of hope, and crossing each other from a million different centers of energy and daring those ripples build a current which can sweep down the mightiest walls of oppression and resistance.”
— the powerful and greatly inspiring words of Robert F. Kennedy (with my little insertions in brackets)

“In the midst of darkness, light exists”
from https://sawriter.wordpress.com and http://longwalktopeace.wordpress.com/

PPS
My vision is of a free democratic South Africa… at long last. Then the country will fulfil its great potential, internally and internationally, as well as in Africa
Never ever give up on your dreams. Sometimes they and fairy-tales DO come true!

that last vision was written in the very dark days of June in the year 1989

Author’s Bio:

In his various writings Craig strives in some small way to break down social, cultural, religious and economic barriers through “planting, then sowing ideas as ‘seeds of hope'”. He believes that whilst we should celebrate our differences, what we share is way more important than what divides us.

Craig’s novels on South Africa that he “felt inspired to write” are available at: http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B005GGMAW4and http://www.creativekiwis.com/amazon.html

Craig’s blog (with extracts from his various writings: articles, books and new manuscripts) are at https://sawriter.wordpress.com http://longroadtopeace.wordpress.com and
http://craigsbooks.wordpress.com/

Also

“The world’s smallest and most exclusive bookstore”

“A book is small enough to hold in your hand; but when you read it, the walls fall away and you’re in a room as big as the world.”

“A book is like a garden carried in the pocket.”
– Chinese proverb

“A good book should take you from your everyday life to another place entirely.”

THIS EXTRACT MAY BE FREELY PUBLISHED

A ‘Review’ of the Film: “CATCH A FIRE” and Sharing a few Thoughts on Forgiveness

October 12, 2012

Article Title: A ‘Review’ of the Film: “CATCH A FIRE” and Sharing a few Thoughts on Forgiveness

(written by Shawn Slovo and her producer sister, Robyn)
.
Submitted and shared by Craig Lock

Category/Tags (Key words): Films, South Africa, stories of South Africa. Catch a Fire, Gillian Slovo, Forgiveness, Reconciliation, Pursuit of peace

Web sites: http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B005GGMAW4 and http://www.creativekiwis.com/amazon.html
Craig’s blogs (with extracts from his various writings: articles, books and new manuscripts) are at www.sharefaith.wordpress.com.wordpress.comwww.buildbridgesofunity.wordpress.com www.buildbridgesofunderstanding.wordpress.com www.breakdownwalls.wordpress.com http://religiousunity.wordpress.comwww.peacepursuit.wordpress.com http://craigsblogs.wordpress.com + so many others I can’t keep track (obsessive or WHAT!)

Other Articles are available at: http://www.selfgrowth.com/articles/user/15565 and http://www.ideamarketers.com/library/profile.cfm?writerid=981
(Personal growth, self help, writing, internet marketing, spiritual, ‘spiritual writings’ (how ‘airey-fairey’), words of inspiration and money management, how boring now, craig)

Publishing Guidelines

All my articles may be freely published

Submitter’s Note:

Like the writers, producers and directors of ‘Catch the Fire’ , I too love to write and share stories that matter a lot to me, in terms of my deepest values (“the artistic temprament”??). True stories from people’s lives in history, that are worth sharing with others, as they have great meaning regarding the universal human condition. So I write about ordinary people in exceptional circumstances and times, that hopefully uplift and impact others through certain people’s great generosity of spirit inherent in the human condition to overcome great obstacles or adversity in their lives! My stories are about the indomitable and unquenchable strength of the human spirit… and ‘Catch a Fire’ is a story that I would have loved to have written … but now that it’s been done by Shawn and Robyn Slovo far more personally, bigger and better than I could ever have done. I found the story of the film so moving, compelling and inspiring, just “impulsively” wanted to share with you and encourage you to see this uplifting and inspiring movie.
*

“Catch a Fire” is based on the story of Patrick Chamusso, the personal journey and transformation of an “ordinary” man: from a compliant oil refinery worker and family man, then after being arrested, tortured and deported to his birth country of Mozambique became a radicalised African National Congress guerrilla fighter code-named “Hotstuff” – a man fighting for the liberation of his people, and his country.

Eventually Patrick was arrested again and convicted as a terrorist; then served his long and harsh sentence on Robben Island in the chilly waters off Cape Town, until his release in 1991. Now Chamusso, aged 57, runs an orphanage with his wife, Connie, where they tend to Aids orphans in the dusty hills at White River near Kruger National Park. From their modest home the close couple care for 14 children. Already they have found foster homes for a further 90 under-privileged (and often malnourished) youngsters in the village, who visit their house daily for food, bible classes and the shiny bicycles donated by the film’s production company…all done with a great generosity of spirit.

But then, Patrick and his beloved wife, Conney have always tried to instil in others the importance of serving others through Christian love. They say that their current long battle against HIV is like our people’s long and hard struggle against apartheid.
*

I think it’s vitally important to understand the mind of a person. Another important message in the story is how good people can often do bad things and the reader gets inside the soul of a man, who wanted to do good and yet preserve the status quo of the ruling regime – to protect the institutions and history of the country. The plots interweave, the two men living on different sides of the fence – both who love their families and their country equally; it’s just that they have a completely different view of their country and visions for its future. The story not only shines a light on South Africa’s past, but tells us something about the present and how one man’s freedom fighter can be another’s terrorist. (It just depends upon ones perspective). So, by only looking to history, we always find something, a ray of hope to illuminate the present and the future.

History tells us that Patrick Chamusso, was the ‘good guy’, who finds himself so backed into a corner, that he finds no other way of expressing and achieving his political aspirations, other than through using force. And that is the mindset we ‘ordinary people’and especially world leaders are truly going to have to understand in order to “win this current ‘war against terror'”. And we are certainly not going to do it through force and invasions, by eliminating the ‘perpertrators of the state-sanctioned violence’and hisfamily.

It’s also most importantly, a story of redemption: of a man trying to regain his humanity…and one eventually does!

I don’t think Chamusso is a hero for taking up arms. I think he’s a hero for laying them down. Their story has a message of forgiveness and hope in the future – one that parallels the miracle of South Africa today. Now if only other countries could offer the kind of leadership South Africa produced at that precarious time in its blood-soaked history…and learn the lessons from the past, then the whole of Africa and even the entire world would be a far better and more peaceful place for all of us.

based on (and inspired by) a great interview with film director, Phillip Noyce and Russell Baillie, as published in the Weekend Herald, Auckland, New Zealand on 9th June 2007

* *

To end off, here are a few thoughts on forgiveness
“Forgiveness is not an occasional act – it is an
attitude of mind.”
– Martin Luther King

“The noblest revenge is to forgive.”
– Thomas Fuller, English author (1608-1661)

His (Mandela’s) ability to rise above his conditions, to stay positive and remain focussed. His dignity, humility and character. He is a model for everyone, especially his total lack of bitterness towards his former enemies. “There is no time to be bitter – there is work to be done.”

A tribute to the symbolic presence of dignity and strength. “Madiba’s’strength of will and character. (“He took Christianity to the market-place.”) Mandela embraced his enemies with love in a “Christ-like selflessness”, epitomising a “Divine Grace” in the uman condition. He truly BELIEVED in his mission, never wavering in his convictions. One man’s commitment to a noble cause – what one man can do preaching reconciliation. “My mission is embracing the wounds of my country.” He gives pride to all black people. What men can do with a noble mission.
“If I don’t forgive my enemies, I deny my right to have power over them.”
– Martin Luther King or Robert Kennedy??

“One man can make a difference.”
– Robert Kennedy

*
“Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.
– Martin Luther King, Jr (1929-1968, American Leader and Nobel Prize Winner, 1964)

“Violence breeds violence, repression brings retaliation, and only a cleansing of our whole society can remove this sickness from our soul.” So eulogised Robert Kennedy after the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr in April 1968.

“Tolerance implies no lack of commitment to one’s own beliefs. Rather it condemns the opression or persecution of others.”
– John F Kennedy

About the submitter:
Craig is passionate about his former country, South Africa and writes about the “Beloved Country” in his novels. The story of ‘Catch a Fire’ has a lot of meaning to his life and shares important themes from his own writings. In his various writings Craig strives in some small way to break down social, cultural, religious and economic barriers through “planting, then sowing ideas as ‘seeds of hope’”. He believes that whilst we should celebrate our differences, what we share is way more important than what divides us. Craig’s new work ‘A New Dawn’ is set in the Middle East: To attempt to find ‘common ground’/principles between different religions and cultures and to try to make some difference in building bridges in an ever more dangerous, turbulent and uncertain world. “A passionate story of inspiration: hope, faith, peace and especially love.”

The various books that Craig “felt inspired to write” are available at
 

“The world’s smallest and most exclusive bookstore”

“Together, one mind, one life at a time, let’s plant the seeds, the hope for a better and brighter future.”

THESE THOUGHTS MAY BE FREELY PUBLISHED

PPS

“There are those who look at things the way they are, and ask ‘why’? I dream of things that never were, and ask ‘why not’?”

~Robert F. Kennedy

“Few (of us) will have the greatness to bend history itself, but each of us can work to change a small portion of events. It is from numberless diverse acts of courage and belief that human history is shaped. Each time a man (or woman) stands up for an ideal, or acts to improve the lot of others, or strikes out against injustice, (she or) he sends forth a tiny ripple of hope, and crossing each other from a million different centers of energy and daring those ripples build a current which can sweep down the mightiest walls of oppression and resistance.”
— the powerful and greatly inspiring words of Robert F. Kennedy (with my little insertions in brackets)

“Lord,

Help lift our eyes a little higher”

.

My South Africa by Jonathan Jansen

May 13, 2012
Still "the beloved country"...a model in reconciliation for the world

the path up ahead

My South Africa by Jonathan Jansen

from http://www.sagoodnews.co.za/blog/my_south_africa_by_jonathan_jansen.html

Wednesday, 09 February 2011
prof.jonathanjansen_blogphoto.jpg
My South Africa is the working-class man who called from the airport to return my wallet without a cent missing. It is the white woman who put all three of her domestic worker’s children through the same school that her own child attended. It is the politician in one of our rural provinces, Mpumalanga, who returned his salary to the government as a statement that standing with the poor had to be more than just a few words. It is the teacher who worked after school hours every day during the public sector strike to ensure her children did not miss out on learning.
My South Africa is the first-year university student in Bloemfontein who took all the gifts she received for her birthday and donated them – with the permission of the givers – to a home for children in an Aids village. It is the people hurt by racist acts who find it in their hearts to publicly forgive the perpetrators. It is the group of farmers in Paarl who started a top school for the children of farm workers to ensure they got the best education possible while their parents toiled in the vineyards. It is the farmer’s wife in Viljoenskroon who created an education and training centre for the wives of farm labourers so that they could gain the advanced skills required to operate accredited early-learning centers for their own and other children.
My South Africa is that little white boy at a decent school in the Eastern Cape who decided to teach the black boys in the community to play cricket, and to fit them all out with the togs required to play the gentelman’s game. It is the two black street children in Durban, caught on camera, who put their spare change in the condensed milk tin of a white beggar. It is the Johannesburg pastor who opened up his church as a place of shelter for illegal immigrants. It is the Afrikaner woman from Boksburg who nailed the white guy who shot and killed one of South Africa’s greatest freedom fighters outside his home.
My South Africa is the man who went to prison for 27 years and came out embracing his captors, thereby releasing them from their impending misery. It is the activist priest who dived into a crowd of angry people to rescue a woman from a sure necklacing. It is the former police chief who fell to his knees to wash the feet of Mamelodi women whose sons disappeared on his watch; it is the women who forgave him in his act of contrition. It is the Cape Town university psychologist who interviewed the ‘Prime Evil’ in Pretoria Centre and came away with emotional attachment, even empathy, for the human being who did such terrible things under apartheid.
My South Africa is the quiet, dignified, determined township mother from Langa who straightened her back during the years of oppression and decided that her struggle was to raise decent children, insist that they learn, and ensure that they not succumb to bitterness or defeat in the face of overwhelming odds. It is the two young girls who walked 20kms to school everyday, even through their matric years, and passed well enough to be accepted into university studies. It is the student who takes on three jobs, during the evenings and on weekends, to find ways of paying for his university studies.
My South Africa is the teenager in a wheelchair who works in townships serving the poor. It is the pastor of a Kenilworth church whose parishioners were slaughtered, who visits the killers and asks them for forgiveness because he was a beneficiary of apartheid. It is the politician who resigns on conscientious grounds, giving up status and salary because of an objection in principle to a social policy of her political party. It is the young lawman who decides to dedicate his life to representing those who cannot afford to pay for legal services.
My South Africa is not the angry, corrupt, violent country those deeds fill the front pages of newspapers and the lead-in items on the seven-o’-clock news. It is the South Africa often unseen, yet powered by the remarkable lives of ordinary people. It is the citizens who keep the country together through millions of acts of daily kindness.
* This article originally appeared in Mango’s inflight magazine. 
and published on my blog at  www.sawriter.wordpress.com
PPS:
South Africa. A possible model for the world on justice, forgiveness, transformation …and the pursuit of peace throughout the world!

Together,  one mind, one heart, one life at a time, let’s plant seeds of hope …

and you and I, let’s march towards a better and far brighter future….together


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