“As South Africans, we are celebrating our first political freedom; post-apartheid elections held on 27 April in 1994.
We are now officially a 23-year old “Free” country. But are we and what does “Freedom” mean?”
“Freedom” should not only revolve around the political freedom to vote. It should include liberation from exploitation, poverty, racism, tribalism, colourism, unemployment, sexism and all other forms of negative discrimination. It should most definitely also include emancipation from a system that only serves to benefit a privileged few, hence the current populism in our country.
At InSA, we are passionate about exactly this cause, and we work together for a united, Inclusive South African nation. To us, Freedom Day is a momentous day on the country's calendar ~ a day where we should all take the time (yes, “It is Time!”) to gauge how far we have come and how far we still have to go... as an individual who represents the nation, we are all awarded an opportunity to do some serious introspection concerning our own responsibility level.
Since the situation in our country is now far-reaching, let us get down to serious business. Please action this introspection very truthfully with us - right now!
On a scale of 1-10, ask yourself:
- Have I made significant progress in my journey against discrimination against any ‘others’ in our rainbow nation?
- How much prejudice do I still hold against those who are different from me?
- How aware am I of how the above influences my behaviour towards ‘others’?
- How committed am I to respect each Godly-created human being in the same way?
- How vigilant and active am I against corruption and the erosion of the values of the Freedom Struggle?
- Do I contribute to building an engaged citizenry that will work towards wiping out the legacy of racism and other inequalities?
- How committed am I to include everyone in the workplace in meetings, e.g. the language I use?
- What is the level of my contribution towards building a productive workplace where everyone feels welcome and safe?
Now; be brave enough and give someone who is very different from you the list to complete, and ask them to give their frank, honest opinion on you. It could be a very sobering exercise. If their perception is very different to yours, ask questions to unravel the discrepancy and to learn and grow from it.
Choose to be a leader and show the same respect to every human being, regardless. It does not mean that you agree with them, or that you have to give up your convictions, but it demonstrates there is a place for all of us under the South African sun! It is up to every one of us to decide how we will contribute to building the nation.
“True ignorance is not the absence of knowledge, but the refusal to acquire it.”
~ Karl Popper