“There can be no greater gift than that of giving one’s time and energy to help others without expecting anything in return.” Nelson Mandela.
It is that time of year again; a time when, as a nation, we are invited to hop off the (me) rry-go-round and commit 67 minutes to helping others. With annual Mandela Day coming up on Wednesday 18th July, some will have already decided on what they are going to do with their time, others will be scouring local websites or newspapers looking for ideas whilst some of us may have ‘forgotten’ that it is happening.
Whatever it is that we end up doing, it is important that we get involved. The people who tend to participate in such days are usually those who give of their time all year round anyway. But this day is meant for all citizens of South Africa and indeed the world. Whether we are young or old, male or female, working or unemployed, Mandela Day is a time when we stop saying, “why don’t they do x,y and z” – and each participate in the building of our nation. It is a day when we all lay a brick.
One way to decide what to do on Mandela Day is to ask yourself what really gets up your nose and spend 67 minutes doing something about it. I am convinced that more people would get involved with initiatives like this if they involved themselves with issues that really concerned them. Ask yourself what winds you up the most. What causes righteous indignation to well up from the pit of your stomach? In our local parlance – what makes you gatvol?
One of author Justin Foxton’s favourite and most challenging quotes was spoken by founder of the Methodist Church John Wesley. He said: “My role is to improve the present moment.”
This year, let’s not make excuses. Let’s use Mandela Day as a catalyst for a personal journey; a journey that sees us all inspired to play our part in improving the present moment for our people and our country.
Acknowledgement: Justin Foxton, founder of national awareness campaign “Stop Crime Say Hello”, “The Baby House” in Umhlanga, Durban and the Kwa-Zulu Natal Adoption Coalition – and to SA Good News – in existence for 6 years and read in 180 countries around the world, by some 60,000 unique users every month. It is South Africa’s premiere source of good news – and an inspiration to us at Cape Insights.