What I Learned About People at a Huge Harvest Party

Last year, I couldn’t attend the ATKV Solms-Delta Oesfees because I was in Platbos planting trees. I was miffed that I was going to miss it, but the tree-planting left me with major warm fuzzies, and since human cloning had not yet taken off (still hasn’t), I made my peace with it. But firmly resolved to go to the next one.

So, the resolve was adhered to, and I went two weekends ago on 25 March. In short, I really wish that everyone could attend this festival! It was that amazing! Easily one of the best experiences I’ve had in a long time and think the person who started it and ran with it needs to get a medal. Or hugs from everyone who attended. Continue reading

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The Whoah of Humankind

I somehow often seem to happen upon articles on the Interwebs that come at a most opportune time. I guess my bots are working very well then! Just the other day, I read a blog post by a chap called Gregg Braden and even though I’m not sure about all his suppositions, suggestions and research, I really liked this quote at the bottom of his post, packaged in a handy image for me to use as is.

One of the necessary evils of corporate life is that one gets to spend some time in all kinds of workshops with HR training people. One session springs to mind, the one where we had to categorise our lives into Thrive, Survive and Nosedive. The trick, they told us, was to move increasingly from Nosedive, through Survive (if necessary) and then on to Thrive.

I like it. Maybe that’s why it is one of the few sessions I actually remember. A friend came and sat on my patio last night and told me about her evening out recently, where she had to listen to two men whinge about other people (their friends, no less) and their own circumstances for an hour or so. Woe is me/us! She eventually told them that it must be hard to live in their skin. I agree. If you’re so hell-bent on complaining all the time, don’t expect anything to improve. I’m not saying everything is rose-coloured all the time, hardly, but moaning about it is unlikely to solve things and keeps you in the downward spiral of Nosedive. Trying to move into a different, more positive mindset might be a better idea! It will push you towards Survive, at the least, and perhaps even give you a taste to Thrive!

Whoah! In these trying times, can it be possible? I would like to think that it is exactly in this day and age of local and global turmoil that it is imperative to move towards Thrive, despite seemingly uncontrollable external circumstances. As the image above implies, achieving Thrive status means building on positive traits (new and old), not by avoiding negative ones per se.

Inconsideration is Not a Station

OK, so maybe a cheesy attempt at a heading, but I’d like to elaborate by saying it [inconsideration/inconsiderateness] is not a place you want to stay at.

I came back from my European holiday to a racial explosion on social media and in the news reports in South Africa. Quite a few incidents of varying degree were being discussed from all sides.

But here’s what I think and my take on “sides”. Racism is wrong. As is sexism, ageism, gender bias, etc. There is no place for it in any society. All types discrimination should be identified and called out. Sure, it’s neither easy nor pleasant. And nobody wants to be labelled a bigot, but I’d like to stick my neck out and say that we all suffer some type of discrimination, be it giving and/or receiving. But that does not let us off the hook because after all has been said and done, hurled about and lord knows what else, we are all human beings. Equal. Born naked, to die to the same fate of decomposition, no matter what you believe happens or doesn’t happen when death takes you. Why on earth would you want to imagine that life itself is the thing that makes you better, even if our circumstances are not equal?

Some days I wish I’d just up and leave as I so easily can, and move to a more inclusive society. But, part of me thinks that this amounts to giving up on something I am part of. I am part of the problem, which means I can and must be part of the solution. But it takes honest introspection and then communication and courage and action. It’s all uncomfortable stuff. And heaven knows, I often feel overwhelmed by the magnitude of this specific problem in our country, but if I don’t do what I can, who will? How can I expect others to do the same? Something’s got to give people…

And not just with racism. I mean just starting at having good old plain consideration for others.

If there’s one bubble I do not like, it must be the bubble of ignorance masquerading as self-righteousness. Just pop it already.

Put down that toilet seat, or dare I say it, put it up.

Remembering Hiroshima

I’m not a historian by any length, but do like to listen to stories. So this morning again on the radio, there were stories. This time, the stories were fist-hand accounts of the day the bomb went off at Hiroshima, it being the 70th anniversary (the kind without a celebration, I’d presume) of this event.

So, background info is the Americans (USAers) bombed the living crap out of Hiroshima on this day in 1945, in the death throws of the Second World War. What a fuck-up. “Oh my gawd, time’s running out, we need to cause more mayhem and destruction while we can even though it serves no purpose except to kill 140 000 people!” they may have panicked.

Continue reading

Fear and Loathing Has No Place Here

This morning, on my way to work, it was radio time again. As to be expected, the focus was on the recent, fresh spate of xenophobia in the north and especially Durban. Apparently there was a whole debate about it in parliament yesterday and even ole showerhead himself had a few words to say. Which I have already forgotten. But more memorable was the contribution made by that stalwart of our political fabric, Mangosuthu Buthelezi.

In a nutshell, he said that when he looked at the perpetrators of this violence (all hate is violence, right?) against foreigners, all he could feel was shame. Considering everything he’s been through and has seen and fought for, the man makes a point. Continue reading