“Some things are in our control and others not. Things in our control are opinion, pursuit, desire, aversion, and, in a word, whatever are our own actions. Things not in our control are body, property, reputation, our social position, and, in one word, what ever are not our own actions” – Epictetus, Enchiridion 1
These words must be some of the most powerful words that I have read in a very long time. They have guided me over the last couple of weeks to learn so much more, about myself and, the ability to live with the world around me in a more peaceful and understanding manner.
The world around us can be a very challenging place to live.
We, my children and myself, arrived in Bahrain exactly a year ago yesterday from South Africa (the trip details and lockdown in an earlier blog post).
We have family and friends in South Africa and we are constantly aware of the privilege we have here in Bahrain. It is sad to not be able to have our loved ones close. Over the weekend a huge amount of activity have rocked my birth country, South Africa. It has brought on more regular communication with those loved ones making sure that they are all safe and well.
I am still connected to a few comminity news feeds and obviously also the regular news channels via various social media platforms. I get news from social media and friends and family alike, so the seriousness of what has been going on over the last few days have really stirred my emotions and concerns for the people in a country so beautiful.
In an article published in the Zululand Observer this morning, it was pointed out that the cost to the economy due to looting and arson is estimated to be over R1-billion (roughly UK£ 49,000,000.00 / US$ 68,000,000.00) in the KwaZulu-Natal Provence alone. This figure is likely to escalate as incidents of looting and arson continues. This information was revealed by KwaZulu-Natal Premier Sihle Zikalala.
The violence has crippled small and emerging businesses. The taxi industry is not operating and losing money, this creates a risk of them loosing the vehicles due to not being able to meet their commitment to the banks.
This also not only affects the future of those workers that worked at the malls, shops and businesses that are now ruined, and most likely will not have a job to go back too, it influences current and future investments in the country’s economy by local and international businesses.
Then over and above all this, the food supplies to the few shops that were protected by the communities are minimal, which leaves communities desperate and vulnerable if they do not have some reserve food and household stocks at home.
The consequences of these “protest” actions can very much be likened to that of a drop that causes a ripple in a bucket of water. That single drop gave no thought to the chain of events and consequences it would unleash once it hit the water. It acted with emotion and left the logic aside which has now created even more uncertainty, insecurity, fear, desperation, anger and division than before. This all over and above the already volatile and uncertain Covid-19 environment.
It is with great sadness and fear that we hang on and rely on every bit of communication from our loved ones in South Africa, keeping an eye on the media, yes, but the personal communication is always a better guide as to the amount concern.
We pray for everyone in South Africa, and everyone that needs guidance and help in anyway to help find the peaceful path.
I would like to end with another quote that I feel should be a moto for everyday, “Stop talking about being a good person, just be one”.