HOW DO WE RESPOND TO THREATS?

In South Africa we have once again had Xenophobia strike our land. There are some, maybe many who are threatened by the fact that foreigners are working whereas they are not. There is I believe a high level of resentment, anger, hatred and fear in the people living in South Africa.

This is frightening. If one looks at the amount of energy poured into these emotions, negative and destructive feelings, South Africa is sitting on a time bomb. Whether we feel these things about one or many people’s race, political aspirations, religious affiliations, economic stability, wealth, status, success, happiness, education, previous advantages, attitudes and behaviours, it is like us all adding our keg of gunpowder to a bonfire that is going to do immense harm to all.

This is where we have to begin with the power of one. Each of us has our baggage and come to the problem with our own emotions so that each of us has to look at what we are feeling, why we are feeling the way we do and what we have done or not done about it, how that in turn has affected the overall picture and us personally.

We can always find scapegoats to blame, but the one thing we have control over is ourselves like nobody else has. If we don’t examine our conscientious, our emotions, the stories we tell ourselves, our motives – and look at them in the cold light of day, we will continue to add fuel to the fire.   This can be extremely hard as we are very complexed and so is the situation in South Africa and the effect history and the present has on so much of our lives.

We cannot truly deal with extraneous matters constructively if we have not dealt with ourselves. We will only make matters worse if we rush out in our confusion and pile on our contributions to the negative energy that seems to be consuming us at the moment.

As South Africans demonstrated the amazingly peaceful transition under Nelson Mandela, we are called to continue that process into all sections of our lives and our country. Twenty years down the line from a hopeful start are we destroying everything that we had such high hopes about?

If we could one by one own where we are at this point in time, acknowledging our own attitudes and response to the healthiness or otherwise of ourselves, others and South Africa, decide to move even one small step today towards being on the side of all that is good and could be good, we will begin to swing the pendulum in a positive energy direction. Imagine if all 50 million or more of us today decided to think and be today one positive thing towards someone or a group of people, how South Africa could shake itself like a dog shaking water off its back and come through better tomorrow, only to repeat the same exercise, day after day until we become a renewed people, with a renewed hope and determination to all work together for the good of all. And it all really begins with each of us doing our bit of kind and good thinking to bring about a hope and a future for everyone. Everyone has been endowed by God with life, with all we need to exist with honour, respect and peace with one another and to co-create with God, a good and wonderful life for all.

May we help in our small but inestimable hugeness to steer South Africa into the amazing people and land we are destined to be. The colours of the rainbow are only as beautiful as they are because they are so varied and different and live in co-operation with one another. May we again amaze the world of how we can do what was done 20 years ago, and be an inspiration and an example to everyone, not least of all to each other as we come together to be and to do what is best for everyone. One is well, all is well. One is suffering, all will suffer. We are inextricably bound together. We have to see that and know that we affect the whole one way or another. We are not individual islands, we are one world and one people. People of many cultures, races, nations – but all people however we are made up and whoever we were, are and will be.

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About Jeanette

When I attended a Life Line training course many years ago, we were told that the labels, titles and hats we wore were not important but rather who we are and whom we have become through our journey through life. We all have something to share, to ask, to listen to, to learn from, to pass on, to reflect on. So, let's begin ....
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