Are We Destroying History Or Building The Future?

There’s so much happening around the world. With some of the things going on I’m wondering: Are We Destroying History Or Building The Future?

The killings at the Emanuel AME Church members in Charleston have stoked a furore of debates. America (and the world) is in debates about race and history. There’s also a raucous about the confederate flag.

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Books And Words: How Dad Tricked Me And Lessons For All Of Us

Dad tricked my siblings and I when it comes to reading as a habit. This is why I read. A lot. From blog posts to books. Being a little more grown up, I appreciate it.

He took us to the bookstores, and besides our textbooks, bought extra reading material for us. He made us value the books by covering them with us. Then he’d wait a few weeks and kinda give teasers on some of the books he’d bought for us.

Now that I think about it, there is no way he could’ve made up trailers to some of them if he hadn’t read them. This means that I read some books as boy dad also read. Am I getting a little sentimental? Oh well…

books and words

Anyway, books, have become my nemesis

Reading, from my much younger years helped me fall in love with words. The first time I wrote a book I was thirteen. I just never published it and I don’t think I’d let it see the light of day. Terrible writing but a great clue. A great clue in that it got me thinking about having a go crafting words.

This is testimony to how some passions and pursuits are formed over decades. Decades. Time either makes us hunger more or retreat. Some of all this is our choice and some of it is a sifting to fling interests.

If you’re looking for a point to this post I’m sure there are some and maybe not so many. Maybe I should think about one or two:

Dad

Like my dad did for me, you can be responsible for helping others, by nudging and or mentoring. If you’re a parent, you have more influence than you can imagine.

Creativity is often overlooked, underused yet. It makes a critical component for influence. Think about how to influence creatively.

Leading and making a difference in people’s lives is more than just telling them what to do. It is dong it in such a way they follow through and remember it as a tether.

Time

You have to be patient to develop and grow in your craft or passion. Instant growth or maturity is a myth. Keep thy hustle and be intentional about your growth.

Retro

It can be helpful to look back and get clues about some your passions. There are a many things you could uncover relevant to reinventing yourself, if you’re at that point.

Sometimes we have abilities or “passions” we neglect through time or circumstance. I use “passions” loosely. To get a better idea on what some of what “passion” means, go here.

Outro

So, uhm, thanks dad for the many lessons in one…

[Photo Credit: NatalieMaynor]

The Anatomy Of A Great Legacy – Lessons From Nelson Mandela

When I heard the sad news of Nelson Mandela’s passing, my thoughts were occupied with his legacy. One of the reasons I write is to process my thoughts. Sometimes I do it to find out what I think.

At the time of Madiba’s passing, I was reluctant to write anything because the media, and a lot of other people would be doing the same. I’m weary of trying to assess how genuine people are when they cover icons like Mandela at their passing. I don’t struggle with truth, but motives. Are the papers pushing sales and Internet shares and views?

That aside, I couldn’t help but keep thinking about the legacy Nelson Mandela has left. Media spoke about him, his life and contribution incessantly. This forced me to keep thinking. Now I’m at a point where I have to write, because Mandela has left a legacy that is worth learning from. There are valuable lessons for both life in general, and leadership.

Because I do a fair amount of reflection through writing I now think aloud on the anatomy of a great legacy – lessons from Nelson Mandela:

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Rihanna Has No Demands – Page 1 | Students’ Violence – Page 17

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The Saturday Star (12 October 2013) covered a number of incidents where students assaulted teachers.

While I applaud the Saturday Star for covering these stories, could the fact that it was put on page 17 be a reflection of how seriously we’re taking this as a country? On the front page, instead, is that Rihanna, who was due to have a show in Johannesburg the following day, was not making a “diva demands”.

While “RiRi’s news” for not making news is pertinent to some, “the news” has nothing on the future of South Africa, in the form of young people in the education system. Should it not bother us that violence on teachers, by their students deserves our attention more than a rockstar not making certain demands?

I like some of Rihanna’s music. And I am impressed that she wasn’t a pain for the concert organisers but I’m not convinced this was front-page material. I’ve got nothing against Rihanna, just questions about what should be priority and deserves more attention.

Perhaps I’m working off my journalism and publishing rules… In my mind (maybe that’s where the problem is) the stories about the violence in schools should be front page and Rihanna page 17.

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Oh, I have nothing against the Saturday Star, I’m just wondering if what they did is reflective of what we deem as important in South Africa. We could say, it was a Saturday publication and needed some entertainment in it. Should entertainment be priority when there’s a crisis to highlight?

Well, alongside Rihanna’s story is that residents take on the Guptas for flouting building regulations. It is right that the residents pursue what is right and fair as far as the law is concerned, but what is more important?

Then again, who is custodian of these priority standards I’m going on about? The custodian of priorities in terms of what gets priority in publications such as the Saturday Star must be the future of South Africa and her children’s future.

I’m no editor and know nothing about determining what should appear where and what story deserves which spot, I’m just trying to make sense of things…

Objective journalism is important for healthy nations. It is necessary in securing the future of nations, by being a conscience, a mirror to the nation. If the mirror is broken we don’t see ourselves as clearly as we should. This means we will value and act in ways that are irrelevant.

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Interventions are only as effective as understanding and acknowledging reality. Does burying a story about violence in schools under a rock star’s lack of demand suggest that we are burying things in favour of entertainment as a form of denial of the obvious reality?

I applaud the Saturday Star for covering what I found as disturbing in some of our schools. Without them and others, bringing this up we might not know.

I am a little bothered by this… My questions and reasoning may not be coherent but that is not what I’m after… This is how I process things and I’d love to have you as a part of a conversation I’ve had with others and myself.

Are our priorities amiss?

Diversity Celebrated | Interview With Craig Makhosi (Part 1)

I was privileged to interview Craig Charnock (aka Quite a White Ou). He’s a great guy with a great story.

(Unfortunately I will not be able to share everything about Craigie but have drawn portions of our conversations into small bites to challenge us and hopefully cause us to reach across the things that separate us. This goes deeper than just colour…)

He teaches Mlungus (white people) to speak Xhosa and Zulu all over Mzantsi (South Africa). In his debut single, Ndingumlungu, Quite a White Ou teaches isiXhosa through his rap lyrics. He’s a loud and proud South African.

Understanding others and diversity means immersing ourselves, in one way or another, in other people’s worlds

Quite a White Ou (aka Craigieji Makhosi by day) runs Ubuntu Bridge, a company that has been teaching Xhosa and Zulu language and culture courses since 2005 to the public, corporates, NGOs and schools.

Press PLAY and let’s connect after the conversation

Check out Quite a White Ou’s video…

Also see Craig’s TEDx Talk

What does diversity mean to you? What are some of the, small yet significant and practical things you think we can all do to strengthen unity in diversity? Leave a comment.