“Don`t forget to sanitize my presents”, André jokingly said last Sunday, when we were talking about his upcoming birthday. We all laughed because we know André and his dry sense of humour…☺
But when local influencer, Katinka die Kat, who got married on 4 July, posted an image to Instagram ahead of her big day, inviting the public to virtually attend the wedding at a cost of R150, nobody laughed.
It made me think of an unknown quote my dad once wrote in my little autograph book: “There’s a thin line between confidence and arrogance…it’s called humility. Confidence smiles, arrogance smirks…!!”
Arrogance…that`s what we saw last Friday at the funeral of Zindzi Mandela at the Fourways Memorial Park, with attendees not adhering to social distancing and not wearing masks. And once again, we all agreed: one law for citizens and another law for the ruling.
As George Orwell wrote many years ago in “Animal Farm: “All animals are equal, but some are more equal than others…” We are all familiar with the fact that this satire was written in the wake of world War II and published amid the rise of Soviet Russia, but it is devastatingly applicable to our country`s current state, with liberators-turned-tyrants, and Comrade Napoleon, chief of the pigs, aka NDZ, with her snout firmly in the trough.
And our dear President? He goes on TV, willy-nilly making cruel and spiteful rules and treating us like misbehaved school children. And while he and his inner circle are getting rich from Covid-tenders and carrying on like the lockdown doesn`t exist, we, the law-abiding citizens are struggling to make ends meet.
More than three million people have lost their jobs over the lockdown period, the restaurant and tourism sectors are in ICU on ventilators, gyms are in limbo, and we cannot help but feel that the government`s main aim is to control and frighten and punish. The cigarette ban was illogical and destructive, and useless, because a recent study on Network 24 revealed that 90% of smokers in South Africa have still purchased cigarettes.
And here we are, wondering what ruinous nonsense the mystery leader of the ANC will dream up next. Meanwhile, as Schalk Bezuidenhout said on his TV-show “Die ware naarheid”, if you want to visit your granny, take her for an hour-long taxi-drive. Or arrange a family meeting at Mug and Bean…Just stay within the curfew, remember. Ugh.
”All animals are equal, but some are more equal than others.”
This week I thought about this quote a lot. We are in week 9 of our Winter Challenge, and this week a few of our 52 participants will still desperately try to reach their much needed 27 workout sessions. They have until Friday the 31st. I have relied upon their integrity regarding home workouts and all of them have sent me their workout stats weekly. I wouldn`t know if they had tied their smart watch to the dog`s collar, attached it to a desk fan or electric mixer or even got comfy in their favourite rocking chair and rocked their way to 250 calories…I wouldn`t know, and I didn`t ponder on it, because I relied on everyone`s integrity in the same way they trust that I treat each participant equally and fairly.
Because that is how we all were brought up. “Kierantjies braai”, our parents told us years ago when we were caught with our hands in the cookie jar, or when we considered slipping ourselves an extra twenty dollars of Monopoly money. We learned about honesty and integrity from a very young age – that the truth matters. That you don`t take shortcuts or play by your own set of rules. And that success doesn`t count unless you earn it fair and square…
“Nobody will ever take you serious in life, until they know that your yes is yes, and your no is no”, was my mom`s motto.
In his book “Winners never cheat: Even in Difficult times”, Jon M Huntsman describes this beautifully. He says: “Life to me is the greatest of all games. The danger lies in treating it as a trivial game, a game in which the rules don`t matter. The rules do matter, a great deal. The game has to be played fairly or it`s no game at all. And even to win the game is not the chief end. The chief end is to win it honourably and splendidly.
I keep wondering about the way our Presidency are playing this game we called life. I wonder if Mr Ramaphosa has listened to some of the outcries of farmers on Facebook, if he has even glanced at the thousands of restaurant workers who took to the streets on Wednesday for the “1 million seats on the streets” protest. I wonder if he sometimes goes to bed thinking about all the jobless families. I wonder. But if you ask me, I don`t think so, and it`s okay. It`s okay if you and your oinkers and your cabinet keep on turning a blind eye, Mr President. “Kierantjies sal braai”.
Maybe not now, or in ten years, or even twenty. But one day. For now, cheating is easy for you. Your cheating is a choice, not a mistake. And you are getting away with it, solidly. You might take a little more and a little more until there is no more to draw on. But one day, oddly, your hands should be full of all that taking, but when you open them there will be nothing there. You`ll see.
In 1897 the New York Sun published an obituary for the author Mark Twain, who actually wasn’t dead at all. To which Mark Twain responded with a famous letter to the editor which simply said, “Dear Sir, Rumours of my death have been greatly exaggerated. Yours faithfully, Mark Twain.”
This lockdown crisis has made us stronger than ever before. It has created the opportunity to dip deep into the reservoirs of our very being, to rise to levels of confidence, strength and resolve that otherwise we didn`t think we possessed.
You can`t keep a good man, or woman, down, Mr President. Rumours of our despondency have been greatly exaggerated.
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