In a world increasingly fractured and fractious it may seem that there is a shortage of good news to celebrate. There is not.
I use the word ‘celebrate’ deliberately because it gives us the opportunity to recognize that when we as individuals or organisations take the leap to make a difference in whatever way we can. It is in fact a bold and courageous step. Far easier to sit back and let the events around us shape our responses and beliefs. The danger therein is that we then allow our opinions and thoughts to be shaped by someone else.
Stepping out and doing something tangible for our fellow human beings is yes often more challenging but the rewards are priceless. It provides us with fresh eyes, it expands our network, it expands our circle of influence and we gain a better understanding and appreciation of what our fellow compatriots face on a daily basis. In short it makes us better citizens.
In presenting The Honest Truth I am constantly reminded of this fact. People from all walks of life do want to help. It is incredibly powerful.
Allow me to share an example. Recently I interviewed Sean and Rob. These two gentlemen are tackling what they call the Island 2 Bays challenge. A Robben Island swim followed by a run to Hout Bay, all in aid of the Phillipi Children’s Center.
The lasting impression that I was left with after the interview is not so much what they were attempting but it was the manner in which they spoke about it. Their motivation behind it and the language they used. It became very clear that these men were aware of their privileged position and as fathers they wanted to play a role in assisting other children so that they may have a productive platform from which to start seeding their dreams and ambitions. It may seem like a non-event, but for me it was significant that they firstly were conscious of their ‘lot’ in society, and not prepared to just live their lives without being affected by the omniscient inequality we confront daily. It is a step in the right direction. I always maintain that the value of any society is reflected in how they consider their most vulnerable.
Making a difference in people’s lives need not be a life changing exercise. It can simply be extending the influence and skill of what we do on a daily basis. The impact however, of extending ourselves beyond our own selfish aims is transformative. It does make us vulnerable but the strength gained is unimaginable as you will recognize how small simple steps can create a ripple that may evolve into a tidal wave, allowing others to shine and glow. That is something to celebrate.