A few days ago I wrote in ‘Grootendeels’, in response to the outrage about former South African president, FW de Klerk’s statements in a TV-interview while in Chicago for the Nobel-laureate’s summit.
The title of my post was ‘We need a Dream’.
Which got me thinking about dreaming of a new future for our country.
It is all good and well to say ‘we need a dream’.
What do I dream?
What do I hope?
And are there others who dream the same?
And if there is, why is this ‘dream’ not dawning as a new reality?
Or is it, perhaps, and we’re just not seeing it yet?
Or have we forfeited hope?
To be swept along by forces and powers which have no concern for justice or peace or meaning or freedom?
Which would be sad.
And so here is my dream of hope for South Africa:
I dream of a country soaked in relationship.
Relationship speaks of connection.
It speaks of understanding.
Relationship speaks of concern.
It speaks of caring.
Of hoping for and expecting the best.
It speaks of intention.
A will to engage.
It speaks of safety.
Imagine a country in which people expect the best of and for each other.
A country in which we see potential in every person and every encounter.
A country filled with people.
A country filled with mothers.
People intimately connected to each other.
Relationship speaks of collectiveness.
An ‘us’ in a setting where there is no ‘them’.
Imagine a country in which Muslim and Christian and Jew and Hindu can find each other in collective values.
In the preciousness of family.
The astounding beauty of embracing a collective desire to raise children and build lives.
A country in which innovation is celebrated.
In which discovery is encouraged.
Where people do not reign, but share.
Imagine everyone enabling the other.
Everyone will be enabled.
Imagine everyone allowing the other to be first.
Everyone will be first.
Imagine everyone listening.
Everyone will be heard.
I dream of a country where no one tolerates anyone, for tolerance is impatient.
With irritation and desperate restraint it makes peace with something which cannot be changed.
Imagine a country in which people embrace.
A country in which people forgive even before an apology is offered.
Everyone will be humble enough to apologise.
Everyone will be exalted through unconditional forgiveness.
Imagine a country in which wealth & prosperity is unimportant.
In which presidents & ministers & CEO’s sell their expensive imported cars to create the resources so that schools can be renovated & hospitals staffed.
Because they care.
Because they relate.
Because they hope, alongside mothers & fathers for a brighter future.
Imagine a country in which teachers love teaching.
In which nurses & doctors do not care about billable hours, but rather about the wellbeing of people.
Imagine a country in which police isn’t a force, but truly a service.
Because people’s lives are tied to each others.
Imagine a world in which people are so involved, so bound to each other, they know each other by name.
They know more than their neighbor.
They know the man who teaches their children.
And his wife.
And his children.
They know the woman who packs their groceries.
Imagine a country in which people relate so intensely, there is no need for private schools for a select few, for everyone is select and the many is few.
The schools for everyone is as a private school and the hospital for everyone is like a private hospital.
Imagine a country in which no one goes to bed hungry.
Or wonders how he will provide food for his children the next day.
Because we are related.
Because we care.
About each other.
Imagine a country which has lost the need for political parties & in-fighting.
Because we are all on the same side.
Working towards the same future.
A collective future.
A country in which people really look silly when they strike or burn tyres.
Because there is nothing to complain about.
For who among us will give his brother a rock if he asks for bread or his neighbor a snake if he asks for fish?
For if we relate, everyone to the other, we will be brothers & sisters beyond blood and race and religion.
I dream of a country drenched in relationship.
I dream of a country soaked in a willingness to give it up, to do without, so that the other may have.
This country will value the laborer as much as it values the doctor or lawyer.
This country will emanate gratitude.
Each dishing it out in abundance to everyone.
Imagine how valued the people of this country will feel.
Imagine how respected the people of this country will be.
The leaders, always serving.
The servants, always leading.
The distinction so blurred, spectators confused, with leaders fulfilling a function, not holding a position.
I dream of this country.
A country which sows more than it reaps.
Which sees beyond the moment’s gratification.
Which hopes to nurture a blossoming flower for its grandchildrens’ children.
Dream on, you say.
It is only a dream.
A fool’s dream at that.
If man did not dream of walking on the moon, would Armstrong have made that one small step?
If innovators did not dream of saving lives by transplanting hearts, would donated hearts be pounding in grateful recipients lives.
If the brothers Wright did not dream of soaring through the sky, would people travel to distant places, just to sip colorful drinks at an exotic beach.
If Guevara did not dream of justice, would children be learning & healthy?
If King did not dream of people being judged by the content of their character or Mandela of a non-racial society – would we be talking?
Or would we have been buried in the unmarked grave of the battle-field.
The price of strife.
Of hopeless living off the seed of others.
For it is our dreams which bring us to new places.
It is our dreams which set our course.
Which brings energy to our feet as we walk onward into tomorrow.
I dream of a country soaked in relationship.
A country, filled to the brim with people.
Who are connected.
To each other.
What do you dream of?
And where will that take us?