My first post for 2009. Happy new year to all, and to all blessed be this year. In the coming weeks I will probably discuss a few things, some technical, some not quite so. On the Technical side will be a full on review of how to install, configure and use Linux Mint like there. I know Collen has been pushing me to put down some thoughts I regularly bounce against him so I will put up this first post of 2009 as my commentary on some things affecting our South African community at the moment. I am no Noam Chomsky (It doesnt really bother me if you consider him good or bad, I think he still has a brilliant mind). I sometimes hesitate to put down some of these things because of fear of not covering all angles. I have come to the realisation that you really can't. In that case I will present my side of the story. If you oppose it you can tell me, I don't mind debate, I encourage it.
The Vanishing Generation
The tale of the new South Africa 14 years on and pushing to define ourselves as Africans. Maybe the defenition that we should be focusing is how the "new" African middle class is defining itself. With the current influence of the west in repect with what wealth is and how it is flaunted, the "Black" African middle class is finding the "rich" lifestyle" and lets flaunt it image as the definition of who they are. The rising middle class is as much a sign that we are moving past apartheid.
The middle class should be fueling the spirit of "Ubuntu". "Ubuntu" now has become a catch phrase that we use to pass the buck to someone else. Again a question I ask, is what are we doing in our privilaged positions to help those around us and in our communities. Individuals will make the difference. Relying on and complaining to a government that sometimes seems its watching too much drama on TV is not how we will move forward. We ourselves are descending into a society that does not even respect itself. Then we still talk of "Ubuntu" histerically to those from outside.
While I, and many others, believe that this middle class should be fueling a revolution to redefine ourselves on our own terms with our own goals and dreams, there seems to be a move towards the glorification of ignorance. The pursuit for the good life is stratifying us into us and them scenarios. The cut-throat life of not looking behind on who you trampled on has become the norm. We gleefully spend 90% of our money on on essentials but will never ever (yes I said it) give 1% of our time to help others in need. We celebrate clowns who preach socialist propaganda but still step off limousines wearing the latest Italian designer suits (when not on TV though, its important to keep a down to earth look there). Who wouldt want to live the white picket fence life?
This then influences the youth of today, the vanishing generation. The ones who want instant gratification. Who likes school anyway? I can go steal a car and sell it to get money so I can look like those guys on TV. We go to further education for years and years and still cant afford luxuries. So whats the point to all of it. Rather go work easy jobs, or high risk (not in the conventional definition here) ones so I can make my millions. Money is our only way out of every problem that we have. It will bring the ultimate happiness and command more respect than we have ever imagined. Yet we will never part with it without getting something back. The concept of charity is not about money. Its about time and lending your expertise and knowledge in helping others.
We have failed to define ourselves. The youth have failed to define themselves. Now a wind is sweeping all who dont have any guts to stand up against the status quo. We define our happiness by what others say will make us happy. Our success is defined by others. We look to others to tell us that we are doing well. We wake up feeling like dying. We have a job we don't like, massive amount of debt (servicing the lifestyle), and go out looking for other peoples approval.
Who are you?
What tickles you?
Basics will set you free. You need to let go if all they tell you need. Do it your way, knowing that when it fails, its your failure not theirs. Knowing that when you succeed you will have defined your own success. Push your boundaries. Leave your poisonous comfort zone. Yes its hard, its never easy. Its time to love the feeling of uncertainty. TIme to grow your own wings and be your own Sachem. Then after you do that, show another do the same so that we can introduce the next great African generation. Unlimited Potential, Unlimited Power.