ED'S NOTE

Embracing positive vibes

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I have had it with the whole “South Africa is a bad, corrupt place where everything is going wrong” attitude and thinking! I’m sick and tired of hearing that we’re turning into another Zimbabwe. Why do we have to be so negative (the forbidden N-word)?

Mainstream media seem to focus on the negative; it filters into our society, it floods over the boarders into international news mediums.  The world’s vision of the land of Nelson Mandela is getting more and more negative. Have we as South Africans lost every bit of patriotism?

Just judging by who’s first to share bad publicity in South Africa on social media channels, especially on Facebook, it seems that we have. We, the citizens of South Africa, are our own worst enemy when it comes to damaging our international image. Bad news sells and we are brainwashed to buy it. But fellow South Africans, we don’t have to.  We have a choice - a choice to also share the good news on Twitter, Facebook and the works as well.

Yes, there’s a lot going wrong in our country, but we are not alone. The whole world has gone bonkers. We just happen to be a bit more in the public eye. Should that not be all the more reason for us to not partake in the negativity campaign against the very country that puts food on our tables (no matter how meagre the crumbs may be)? The bigger the negativity, the less productive our society is, the less successful our business is, and ultimately our negative attitudes will influence our economy. Many countries in the world’s history have gone under because of this.

 Why am I writing this? I have a guilty conscience. I recently ‘shared’ a negative news report on Facebook. At the time I thought it was relevant. Perhaps it still is - but after posting it for the whole world (literally) to see, I thought to myself: “What have you just done? What have you achieved by this?” I then deleted it – after it was seen and ironically ‘liked’ by one other person. It was only one person, but it was one whole person who I potentially influenced negatively.

Every day I am bombarded with emails of people begging me to publish their stories or stories of their clients – feel good stories of mountains of good happening right on our doorsteps. And every day I write and edit stories of the good work done in South Africa – positive and uplifting stories of people like you and me. I often wish I had a million-page issue to fill with all this. From individuals going beyond the call of duty to improve the lives of others in Mpumalanga, to big corporations in Gauteng putting the bottom line aside to make a difference, to uplifting government projects in the Western Cape – the good is all around us.

I believe that attitudes are more important than facts, so forgive me if I slightly rewrite Mahatma Gandhi’s famous words: “Be the change that you wish to see in the world.” I say to you: “Be positive and you’ll see change in the world.”

Let’s not allow the bad news to overshadow the positive work done. I beg of you – the next time before you buy (into) the bad news – think carefully about the crumbs on your table…

Lindsay

 

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