Giving up on SA is just not an option

"The turmoil that persists in this country is a substitute for the racial war that never was," professed an aggrieved parent at a meeting in Soweto this week.

"The turmoil that persists in this country is a substitute for the racial war that never was," professed an aggrieved parent at a meeting in Soweto this week.

"The reality is that there is no human intervention that can avert it, only the process or the science of nature can see this cycle of violence through," she continued assertively.

I was horrified at such a resigned and hopeless statement by an elderly member of this powerful Parents' Forum in the most powerful, influential and popular township in the world.

I simply cannot argue against the evident apathy blanketing our nation, but I flatly refuse to give in.

I cannot, for the infected life of me, comprehend this helplessness, inaction and tolerance that our people display by not putting extra effort into defusing a potentially explosive situation.

However, I believe that this woman's views should not be readily dismissed, primarily because I believe she is not the only one who thinks this way.

As undesirable and defeatist as her attitude may be, I think that it does reflect the opinion of most people in this country.

Otherwise how does one justify or explain the perpetual spread of HIV, when it has been proven that contracting this largely sexually transmitted infection is probably much more difficult than finding a sensible politician in the southern hemisphere.

In simpler terms, if more of our people were determined, motivated and keen to avoid the spread of HIV, it could still be accomplished. After all, pulling on a condom takes a minimum of 14 seconds depending on the size of the penis; for some it might take even less time.

This analogy, I suppose, explains this despondent woman's mentality.

Secondly, if more of our people were committed to nipping crime in the bud, then the work of the police would be easier and all of us would be living in a better and safer place.

The list of things that can discourage and depress us beyond repair is endless. However, giving up at this crucial time in our country's history would be an unpardonable sin.

Therefore, we must realise and accept and be highly motivated by the irrefutable fact that each and every one of us carries an inherent responsibility to soldier on, to lend a helping hand, to provide sound and durable leadership, to provide counsel and direction to, and for all, our children.

Muhammad Ali, the greatest boxer of all time, provides the most profound and eternal motivation when he says: "A champion is not always a winner. Most times, he or she is a pathetic loser who simply won't quit".

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