The Sunday Times published an article of remarkable insight by Adam Habib on the 15th May 2016. The surgical cuts delivered by a true and compassionate intellectual. The essence being that we live in a time of intense rage against almost everything, every one. Political leaders, an extremely biased economic system that favours the “have’s” who live in a ‘fool’s paradise’ that one can continue gathering superficial materialist assets re oversized houses, vehicles that gas the environment to hell, extended holidays, new clothing shrewdly advertised to replace whatever still covers our seasoned bodies etc. All in total neglect, disregard, insensitivity, towards masses of our country men and women daily suffering just to survive. The daily joys of having a settled middle class life, or one frolicking in sickening excesses, or a politically creamed one, all of this, with no practical empathy for droves of hopeless people and specifically young people dreaming of a meaningful future but experiencing the passing of empty days with no hope for work. They see their dreams going to early ashes. This anguish will not stay passive forever.
Habib refers to history and specifically to the continuous dichotomy that shrewdly return old agendas of selfishness back into the front row of economic entertainment time and time again.
This can continue for a long time, but there comes a time that the zeitgeist tips and turbulence takes over. When rage cannot be cheaply pacified any longer.
But Habib warns about opportunists.
One can surf, propagate, that tide of overflowing instinctual emotion to forward own one- dimensional agendas without taking the consequences of irrational actions into account or really to care about how society will grow humanely and sanely after such easy propagations of change.
Life cannot be lived simplistically. It will not last. One cannot forward humanity on raw emotions. We need to consider options, consequences. The world is a global village. As Habib says, we need to move pragmatically, with integrity, towards a better future.
But how Professor, how from here? We have shallow and shrewd people walking politically in front of us. We don’t hear compassionate and synthesizing voices, rational and compassionate leadership heralding us all towards a humane and meaningful future. We don’t hear such voices. Why not?
Are all savoring an easy and cheap existence, or are they afraid to be real leaders? Will they ever be able to deem themselves with self-respect if their passiveness now leave festering wounds in a society of tomorrow?
Wim van der Walt – Bellville