It is fairly easy to say that our country is in a fairly dark space at the moment. It feels as if the media has been able to dig up some rather dirty secrets that we would rather not think about. But isn’t that the problem? We have been raised to look past the problems in South Africa until they boil up to the surface. Then we scurry around trying to lap up the boiling water, and continuously ignore the actual problem: the source of the heat.
Generation Y and the Born Frees are very good at one thing: blaming the past for how we live today. If apartheid can be used as an excuse then it is always thrown into the mix. Yes, Apartheid was bad and should never have happened. The Affirmative Action programmes and the BEE movement need to be here to help us to try and rectify the past. But since when did we start to pin our own self-worth and potential on what our grandparents did? Why is no one standing up and saying “I’m better than this”, or “I want more. Let me go out and find it”. Although, I may also be speaking from a position that doesn’t quite understand how the soul can be crushed and restrained through poverty, hunger and never ending sickness.
So let’s speak about my peers. People who apparently come from a rather privileged background. What are their excuses for wanting everything offered to them on a silver platter? How come they have forgotten how to care, or how to push themselves further? Why has the most important element of our lives become cowardly hiding behind Facebook or Twitter to say something about the world. Why only offer opinions on one infamous court case, instead of speaking up for the thousands that are in the same position? The scary thing is that I don’t think that most people realize they are doing it. There are a few steps we should be going through: oblivion, realization, thought and action. Somehow, we seem to be oblivious, but spewing out thought at the same time onto the exact platforms that allow it: Social networks.
At some point this needs to change. We need to stop saying thank you to the past or where we are now, and say thank you for the future we have been given and figure out how to shape it for the better.