Riches measured by true humanity
We are prone to measuring success by the index of our salaries, or the size of our cars, rather than by the quality of our service relationship to humanity.
These poignant words of American civil rights icon Martin Luther King Jnr were quoted by Gauteng social services MEC Kgaokgelo Lekgoro to highlight the selflessness displayed by the unassuming heroes who are unearthed and honoured through the yearly Old Mutual, SABC and Sowetan Community Builder of the Year Awards.
The awards are supported by the national Social Services Department and nine provincial services departments.
Speaking on the Gauteng leg of the awards in Johannesburg recently, Lekgoro said the awards marked the immense sacrifice being made by community builders.
"With these awards we say your contribution cannot be measured in monetary terms and we can - through these awards - express our appreciation for your selflessness," Lekgoro told Gauteng's finalists in the youth, adult, senior and group categories.
"We hope that more and more members of our society will emulate you. We hope that your wisdom will catch the imagination of many others. So that one day we will all say 'I am my brother's keeper' and 'I am my neighbour's keeper'."
Lekgoro said community builders helped to cater for the basic needs of less privileged, vulnerable children, women and the infirm, often with meagre or no resources and armed with humility, love, compassion and a strong sense of humanity.