From Fear to Hope

I wasn’t going to say anything, I am still not sure I will even post this…

Over the last few weeks we have been bombarded with reports of online hate and racism. Thankfully there have also been counter posts of love and positivity.

I don’t think people like Penny Sparrow are necessarily full of hate. I don’t agree that her and her daughter’s life have been threatened. As has been said before – you can’t fight hate with hate. Or in this case ignorance. That is what I think it is mostly, ignorance and fear.

  1. Ignorance that you just don’t say things like that – its hurtful, dumb and inaccurate. Messy people come in all shapes, colours and sizes. That’s like saying “fat” people are messy (except 10 times worse)!? Hurtful, dumb and inaccurate.
  2. Ignorant of how calling people in South Africa monkeys is hurtful and dumb. Who cares what your views of monkeys are while our past is still bleeding? Who wants to be compared to a cute and silly monkey, in any case?
  3. Ignorance of the wounds of Apartheid and wounds of the present that you are opening and adding salt to. Notice I say wounds because they are real – not imagined.

Perhaps this was all said this in ignorance but there are a minority that are filled with hate and anger and are willing to act on it. That scares me. That scares a lot of people and that is why there is a reaction. We don’t want to go back there and we still have a far way to go.

We don’t, however, have a right to attack people and threaten their lives. We don’t. It is so easy to say things on Social Media and on the internet that we wouldn’t, perhaps, say in person or if people were watching us.

I get scared sometimes. Scared for my family, my friends and for my children… what is the world they will grow up in? With so many “mixed” families… will you seek to destroy the lighter/darker part? I look at Velaphi Khumalo saying “We must act as Hitler did to the Jews”. I think it may have been said out of fear and pain. It’s easy to get scared or angry… but fear is not from God. Fear is not something we want directing our steps. Fear leads to anger and hate. Love, kindness, hope and education are the only things that can truly create change.

Nelson Mandela said :

He also said:

“I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.”

and:

“After climbing a great hill, one only finds that there are many more hills to climb.”

We have so many more hills to climb. I feel sometimes the news and various people use the hate and fear to their advantage. Not that we want to stick our head in the sand. No! We must start a conversation so we can learn and grow. We cannot, however, grow in ignorance.

I am so grateful for friends of the same and different colours who constantly challenge my way of thinking, sometimes speak of uncomfortable things and keep this conversation going.

I also think instead of focusing entirely upon Social Media posts – we should be focusing on helping those with or affected by drug & alcohol addiction, removing traditions of abuse, learning to understand each other, vocalising what we would like different, helping and lifting our communities and education.

Can I say that I am blameless. I don’t think so. There are too many wounds of the past. A past that makes me cringe. No-one can remain completely unaffected. BUT it’s not over, there are still things that are happening today that are just not okay.

“Let us never be unmindful of the terrible past from which we come – using that memory not as a means to keeps us shackled to the past in a negative manner, but rather as a joyous reminder of how far we have come and how much we have achieved. My wish is that South Africans never give up on the belief in goodness, that they cherish that faith in human beings as a cornerstone of our democracy.”

Nelson Mandela

Can we move forward in peace and love and hope. I think so. I just have to look at my friends and family. All different colours, all beautiful, full of love, educated and passionate about fanning the fire of goodness.

To any of those I have mentioned here. If I have judged you incorrectly. I apologise. As a parent, I can understand your concern for your children. I pray for their well-being.

As South African’s, perhaps we can focus on our similarities instead of our differences. Feel free to share positive thoughts in the comments below. Let’s domino effect love and positivity.

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