AS YOU grow up you never lose what your mother taught you. Like good wine, age matures your wisdom to know how to become a woman or man of honour.

AS YOU grow up you never lose what your mother taught you. Like good wine, age matures your wisdom to know how to become a woman or man of honour.

With honour being your compass, you will know when power has gone to your head to make a monster of you. You will also be mindful of it when power has gone to your feet to run the race of a good cause.

Every choice, decision and action taken, either makes or breaks the good name of your family, community, and country.

That knowledge rewards you with the judgment to distinguish between wrong and right; bad and good; the ugly and the beautiful. A sense of what is wrong and right sharpens your morality.

A grasp of good and bad urges you to enter the province of ethics. The discerning eye for ugliness and beauty is the universe of your aesthetics.

All of these are common values by which people measure themselves in order to reach for the higher essence of being human.

Inability to reach for this higher essence of humanity is the cause of the decline of many societies. In the process, the line between the human and animal kingdom becomes difficult to draw. The law of the jungle takes over. And the world becomes a dangerous place.

The strong soon believe it is their sole right to survive. Killing becomes the means by which to stay alive.

In this dicey game of snakes and ladders, the incompetent simply grab the licence to lord it over the competent. The greedy and the unscrupulous concoct their road to power and wealth through robbery of the poor.

And to add insult to injury, they care less about the levels and quality of services and products they render to the wretched. Remorse is hardly their concern. Their consciences are evidently dead and buried, with no chance of resurrection.

As if that is not enough, some of those who enjoy the devious benefits of this unscrupulous life, are notorious in generating the absurdity that in a democracy the state need not bother to close the gap between the haves and the have-nots. Anything by the stateis bastardised as interference.

In the face of all this, the quest for true humanity keeps slipping from our hands. A brave new world is unable to be born. A better life for all remains nothing more than an electoral promise for most.

The fear that Steve Biko had so successfully dismissed as a determining factor of South African politics, seem to be shooting its way back to centre.

Not only should the country stand firm against fear but also cut to size the demagogy that goes with it.

It should be clear by now that when reason stops aggression begins. There can be defence for the consequent madness. And when chairs fly between comrades, at a political gathering, who in their right mind would argue that reason is still in the room?

To blame the media for the bad news that show politics to have gone to dogs, is to kill the messenger for failure to turn a deaf ear and blind eye to barking nonsense.

To bring back sanity to politics, the lessons should not be difficult to get by: remember what your mother taught you; jog your memory to establish contact with community expectations; and demonstrate adjudicative competence to distinguish between wrong and right.

To do so not only prevents chairs from flying between differing comrades to register a point at political gatherings, but also draws respect to the good name of your family, community and country worldwide.