Crime, violence, corruption, destitute, political-social uncertainty, economical deterioration, globalization, social barbarism and, both, the physical as well as mental suffering of people during the past couple of decades in South Africa, create an untameable collective social climate that left deep rooted emotional scars on many people in our country.
The Truth and Reconciliation commission initiate an initiative to allow people to heal and rebuild emotional scars …BUT… the question still remains… “Could the emotional scars of shattered people (existing mind-sets) be patched in time to create a prosperous future for all peoples in SA?”
The above question primarily directs and guide all research and service activities at SASCEC. Research activities mainly focus on developing strategies, techniques and methods to enhance people’s self-worth, self-empowerment, self-discipline and psyche management strategies with the ultimate goal to contribute to the uplifting of the South African community as a whole (i.e. strengthen the chain, by first strengthening each link). Research, how significant and well founded it may be, means nothing without implementation. Therefore, the AltanaESP Network & System development and deployment are just some of the ways in which these research results could manifest in services offered to individuals.
An individual’s power of self determination are presently subjected to a number of disastrous incentives and a lack of positive role-models with whom people, especially young people, could identify. If timely attention is not paid and no immediate steps taken to resolve problems as presently experienced by most people in South Africa – social barbarism, corruption, unrest, crime and violence – are problems that could escalate to an unstoppable spiral of individual, family and community self-destruction, which is characterizes by a lack of compassion, forgiveness, care and love. Compassion, forgiveness, care and love, and a supporting family life, are the basic fibres that keep any society together and allow it to prosper.
No one should or could negotiate and plan the future of South-Africa, without considering the present emotional and coping difficulties of individuals, families and communities. The future of South Africa is in the hands of it’s people, especially the youth, because they would be the leaders of tomorrow. Presently the future of South Africa is in serious jeopardy, because uncertainty, unemployment, limited education and/or training opportunities, continuous unrest, violence, corruption, uncertainty, …etc. are an undesirable part of our modern society. Thus, serious doubts exist, if people are informed, prepared, capable and ready to successfully handle the challenges and difficulties of a future South Africa.
History teach us that each generation strive for self-determination with intent. A basic intention to leave the world in a better state, than what they found it to be in the first place. Unfortunately, due to a lack of much needed emotional and social support (a nurturing and supportive climate), a “lost generation” was and still is created, and presently their numbers is still growing at an alarming rate.
Up to now, we only succeeded in conceptualizing the problem and worry ourselves into a deep depression about it, BUT unfortunately, very little is actually done to genuinely assists individuals to become “soldiers for the future“, to regain control over their life’s and become a beacon of hope. At present we (in particular policy makers and officials) attempt to suddenly and swiftly change the world for the better, and in the process completely “forget” that trying to change the world is futile (despite good intentions) and you can only really change the world by making a difference… slowly and bit by bit. In the end, when more and more individuals genuinely tries to makes a difference, the world (collective consciousness) will ultimately change. Not a minute sooner, nor later.
The evolution, advancements and developments of the human race, from the stone age to modern civilization, can be awarded to the exuberant and bubbly enthusiasm of individuals. Without the courageous efforts of individuals from past generations, new countries would not be discovered, man would not be able to fly, space ships would not exist, technological advancements would not be possible, ……to name but only a few triumphs. History teaches us over and over again, that positive change (to the advantage of mankind) was brought about by dedicated individuals (e.g. Plato, Newton, Einstein, Malcolm X, Mandela, …etc.) that truly and genuinely wants to make a difference, despite social dogmas of the time. BUT history also teach us the lesson, that negative change (to the disadvantage of mankind) is also brought about by individuals (e.g. Attila the Hun, Napoleon, Hitler, Stalin, …etc.). Thus, it is in an individuals power to make a difference and change the world in the end, it is YOUR choice whether you want to contribute or not! Scary though, isn’t it?
Parents, educators, teachers, political and cultural leaders are increasingly concerned about the chances of the youth’s survival in a future South Africa. They have more than enough reason to be concerned, because the strive for self-determination of today’s young people are mainly channelled for short term political and physical-materialistic gains, and this type of negligence and ignorance of the present realities in South Africa (and the rest of the world for that matter) are creating, establishing and maintaining a deadly spiral of mass self-destruction for our country, clearly evident from spiralling divorce, murder, suicide, unwanted pregnancies, family murders and drug addiction statistics.
The fundamental reason for the present state of affairs, is because political negotiations and developments taking place in South Africa, give rise to the interaction of different ideologies with different viewpoints, backgrounds, aims and aspirations for the future. This often results in a conviction to firstly address the “wrongs” and problems of the past, and then (if enough time, energy and money is left) to focus on possible problems of the future. Presently any possible future repercussions are conveniently “ignored“. It is a known fact that decisions taken today, influence tomorrow’s events.
Therefore, instead of guiding or assisting people, individuals are exploited by governments and organizations that are not really concerned with, have interest in or show respect for the uniqueness, potential, diversities and capabilities of individuals. Hoping that some miracle external force will make a lasting difference in your life, is merely vague possibility. The only “force” that could really make a difference is… YOU! But, unfortunately, we still desperately cling to the notion that somebody or something else will change my life around for the better.
This attitude is responsible for the initiation of a treacherous cycle, that is devastating for individuals, and in the end for the future of South Africa, because short sighted purposes are served and long term consequences are conveniently set aside for the time being. All leaders are blameworthy (political, educational, religious), they mobilize people to achieve short term goals and solve present day “predicaments“. Few, if any, consider the dynamics and complexity of a future South Africa. Thus, the problems waiting on us, are far more serious and catastrophic than most South Africans want to or could believe.
The South Africa’s history can presently be regarded as either positive or negative. However, the present research undertakings by SASCEC is not to judge the past, but what lessons could be learned from history in an attempt to determine what could be done with regards to the future and to counter act the destructive impact of a looming disaster.
Presently all South African’s are reluctant to acknowledge the fact, that we are indisputably depended on each other for our survival. This do not imply that all traditions, ethnic diversities, cultural boundaries and values must be ignored, BUT opposing groups must agree to actively seek common ground and acknowledge one principle truth… Whatever the White people achieved up to now in South Africa, was with the assistance of the Black and Coloured people, and what Black people achieve in South Africa was with the aid of White people (i.e. the principle of inter dependency – locally as well as internationally).
However, an unfortunate mind set prevails and are firmly kept in place. The attitudes of the majority of the White (European – first world) community – deeply rooted through decades of political indoctrination – are to only share power with others, without risking their own leverage positions to manipulate the future. The attitude of most of the people in the Black (Indigenous – third world) community – also deeply rooted through decades of political activism – are to gain extensive control and destroy all possible forms of oppression and discrimination.
In essence, it becomes a confrontation between ideologies, emphasizing skin colour and the effective destruction of opportunities for all the peoples of South Africa. Once the above attitudes are combined with the prevailing opinion that a political-economical (physical-materialistic) and NOT an educational-spiritual (honour, ethics and higher consciousness) solution would ultimately resolve all problems in South Africa, we could succeed in efficiently destroying, what we now have. REMEMBER! The adults and leaders of today did not inherit the country from their ancestors, they are borrowing it from their children! Thus, we have an obligation to create a future South Africa NOW…, NOT an obligation to solve problems of the past.
The young people of today are tomorrow’s leaders, needed manpower, landowners and entrepreneurs. It may seem like an impossible pipe dream to amend present circumstances (violence, lost generation, unemployment, …etc.), BUT if an attitude develops (a change of heart – mind-set – amongst all the people of South Africa) to focus on constructing a better future for all and NOT to retaliate past actions or to entrench manifestation of the past in some way, then there is plenty hope for the country as a whole to be a winner… providing a developed solution are future directed (pro-active) and not the result of an immediate crisis experienced (reactive).
Underlying as a possible solution for South Africa’s dilemma, is a much needed restructuring of the present life orientation program to familiarize people with the harsh realities and possible options within the modern South Africa. Dealing in abstract concepts like “Model A“, “Model C“, “Multi-Cultural Education“, “Equality“, “People’s Education“, “Outcomes based education“, “Affirmative action“, “Life long learning“, “Cooperative learning“, …etc. are presently irrelevant to the formulation and implementation of workable solutions. Thus, actively implement more and minimize formulating all kinds of impressive ideas and concepts. STOP arranging meetings or congresses and start implementing those generated ideas, not to change the world at once, BUT to address some present difficulty and to work patiently (determined and with diligence) on possible solutions for the future. Walk your own talk and avoid talking somebody else into walking your way of talking and accept responsibility to make a difference in somebody’s life (e.g. Parents their children, teachers their learners, lecturers their students, managers their employees, doctors their patients, artists their audience, …etc.).
The present problem solving inclination of endless discussions, expectations without setting an example to follow, and not implementing new ideas with the necessary commitment, should be ended as quickly as possible. The seed of destruction lies in endless commissions, committees, philosophies, research, theories, models, agreements, …etc. without implementing identified ideas in practice.
Talking alone could not solve South Africa’s problems, but doing something constructive, can. Waiting for someone else to do something, do not help either, each an every South African must pitch in and deliver a contribution, regardless of how insignificant such an individual’s contribution may seem at the moment. DO NOT under estimate your own worth to contribute, because the mighty ocean is made up of millions of little insignificant drops and when enough drops change, the ocean change in the end. Therefore, you have a much better change to be attacked and bitten to death by a donkey, than a change that somebody else would address and solve problems on your behalf.