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Always look on the bright side of life

by | Insights, Uncategorized

Catastrophising (yes, it is a word), is an irrational thought that something is far worse than it actually is. This condition can be situational, for example when you get bitten by a spider and immediately sit down to write your last will and testament. It can also be based on the projection of the future where we agonise over all the things that could go wrong, for example there are those who are of the firm view that a Donald Trump presidency will lead a certain nuclear holocaust.

Unfortunately, in this day and age, the press are largely to blame for catastrophising and although free speech and thought is essential to a functioning democracy, one often wonders why irresponsible journalism (and social media behaviour) isn’t being held to account in a more punitive way. South Africans are world class catastrophisers: Julius Malema just has to get up on a podium and property prices in Perth double. If you were to spend one day on my suburban security WhatsApp group you would honestly think that I live in post-apocalyptic suburb run by warlords.

Lately though, even the biggest Debbie Downers among us would’ve been less melancholy than usual, because over the past few weeks South Africans have had a lot to cheer about. We’ve seen South Africans from every creed and colour come together to protest corruption and stand behind the good guys. We’ve seen civil society, our constitution and judiciary stand tall and deliver some telling blows to the status quo and the Proteas have walloped the Australians in their own back yard (including Perth nogal).  Big business has also come out in full force and spoken out which is unprecedented in our fledgling democracy and bodes well from a transparency, governance and social development perspective (see ). The private sector seems to be more accepting of the fact that it needs to be a more engaged participant in bridging the social divide that is such a problem.

There is no doubt we face numerous challenges and that social injustices still exist in our country today.  These will take decades to solve and overcome but for first time in a while, I feel as though the good guys are winning.