Thursday, 23 April 2015

A STAND AGAINST XENOPHOBIA



A community that once suffered several years of apartheid where Africans were harshly discriminated against, in the cruelest of ways. All the world posed and turned its eyes upon the wails of the many souls that were diminishing in a blanket of segregation and animosity. It was the struggle and diligent efforts of many extraordinary people like the Late. Nelson Mandela who redeemed the nation from extreme hatred and discrimination to forgiveness, freedom and harmonious co-existence of people of all races. 

After several years of peace and tranquility South Africa is faced with yet another wave of violence attacks that have claimed over 7 lives and displaced many foreign nationals. People have turned their rage and frustration on to the unsuspecting foreign nationals that on many occasions leave their home countries in search of better opportunities and a better life. Xenophobic attacks in South Africa have previously been a major cause of alarm and death of many foreign nationals, with the most recent being the attacks that started in April this year. In May 2008, similar attacks broke out and claimed over 42 lives with over 17000 people displaced. 

The main motive behind the attacks is the belief that foreign nationals are taking away the jobs meant for the natives during a time when South Africa’s unemployment rates stand at about 25%. The big question is “how many South Africans are qualified for the jobs they claim have been robbed from them or how many are they creating?” South Africa is the country with the fifth highest crime rate in the world and many people blame foreign nationals for engaging in crime, but can they possibly commit that much crime when they barely make up 4% of the total population. 

The government has failed to provide reliable solutions to the many jobless South Africans who feel oppressed and has on several occasions undermined the immensity of the xenophobic attacks, while brushing them off as a simple misunderstanding between given settlements, until they attract international attention. The many years of apartheid brutality sowed seeds of hate among South Africans, a reason that could explain why South Africa is a highly violent country. Pivotal community leaders have continued to fuel the revulsion against the foreign nationals with controversial statements that further push the frustrated population to channel their hostility towards the easiest target, who happen to be the foreign nationals. 

It is not too late to change the trends of South Africans attacking fellow Africans. The South African government has a big role to play in restoring peace to the affected communities by ensuring the equal job opportunities for both natives and foreign nationals. South Africans too, have to ensure they acquire the right employability skills to compete favorably on the job market or else they risk staying unemployed because on many occasions the foreign nationals are more educated than they are. Those who participate in malicious acts of violence against foreigners should be prosecuted to reduce the attacks which will also ensure justice for the foreign nationals
This is a tribute to all the people who have lost loved ones or been affected by the Xenophobia attacks in South Africa. #SayNoToXenophobia (Image credit to www.pbs.twimg.com and www.pulse.com.)



Thursday, 9 April 2015

DOES IT SOLVE THE PROBLEM?

Peter is a young man aged 21.  He had been drinking for 3 years straight. It all began when she said she did not love him anymore, he always believed she was the finest person in the world and nothing could compare to her. The sound of her words cut so deep into his flesh that he did not hope anything could heal him. During his sad moments, a friend convinced him to “drink” on his problems. A strategy that had worked so well for him on many occasions. Feeling convinced about the idea, Peter then, confident drinking could help him get over his break up with his longtime girlfriend, started drinking every time he thought of her. Shockingly every time he sobered up, he still felt abandoned, betrayed and lonely.
 
A few months had passed but Peter did not stop drinking. He felt worthless and guilty because most people judged him as a spoilt brat who could not own up to his problems, this only pushed him to drink more every day. He was rarely sober because there was a lot to worry about every time he was not “high”. He felt isolated from his pals so he chose a new set of friends in his neighborhood who occasionally spent their days drinking and smoking because they did not judge him and were always ready to give him his next “fix”. 

While a number of people drink to be merry, other people slowly but surely get sucked into the habit of drinking solely because they are trying to escape a number of problems. It starts with a few bottles in the first days, the thrill eventually kicks in and they are set lose with no worries of what tomorrow brings. The feeling is nothing like the constant worry they go through in an effort to resolve their problems. 

The Global status report on alcohol and health 2014 states that 3.3million deaths were attributed to alcohol consumption in 2012, of which 7.9% were men and 4.0% were women but 61.7% of people 15 years and above had not drunk alcohol in the past 12 months. 

Drinking is on many occasions a negative copying strategy. Many people lack essential life skills that can help them overcome their challenges in a healthy and non- destructive way. Some may fear to confront their problems head on, while others hope drinking will miraculous make their worries disappear. 

Anyone can get a drinking problem at any time because of various reasons but the most important step is knowing the motives for drinking, is it because of recreation or it is an escape route?  Identifying the motive for drinking is vital for one to know what exactly they are dealing with in terms of magnitude and consequence.  In case it is a problem then it gives a clear picture of what is at stake and whether it calls for individual or collective effort to resolve, “a problem shared is a problem solved.” Lastly social support is key when it comes to rehabilitating people that have been dependent on alcohol because they need someone to support and believe in them if they are to make any efforts in transforming their lives.(image credit to www.medlines.org)

Wednesday, 1 April 2015

COULD CAUTION MATTER MORE THAN SPEED?



People always say the path to heaven is made of a narrow road with thorny bushes that only the brave are willing to trek along, but the path to hell is wide and striking to attract many people because of its splendid beauty. Well it seems that assumption is a real life experience for many people. We live in an era encompassed with intense pressure for quick action. Everyone is thinking of how fast they can benefit from a relationship, a job or even a business.

We are a generation that strongly believes, speed is the master key to success and anyone who will not act fast is bound to be a loser. It is about how fast something can be done, with the least effort, applied in the shortest time possible. We are bombarded with numerous “get rich quick schemes” and swift means through which to attain our goals, with intense pressure to act on them. Be it a health, financial and spiritual goal. We have lost the good old habits that believed that “patience pays.” One would wonder why this has become a norm for many people around the world.

Many products and medicines are advertised as the sole solution to almost all problems. There is a pill for just about anything, be it a health complication or emotional disturbance, even those that can easily be treated with a goodnight sleep. Numerous people would rather buy pills to cut down on their weight than do a little exercise daily to keep them healthy and in shape for ages. Others will gladly jump at every business opportunity that guarantees the quickest returns with minimal efforts. Just a few people will have the guts to start up businesses that will require enormous effort to build, with extreme resilience as one awaits the first fruits that may take a while before showing.

While the path of least resistance is irresistibly striking, it is not without flaws. Multiple products meant to quickly solve health problems are often accompanied by unexpected side effects that in the long run prove to be more expensive to treat. This only serves to make such companies more millions as they rectify the very problems they created. Betting companies continue to grow bigger everyday by making a fortune off peoples’ hardly earned money. This is all because people quickly forget how long it took them to work hard and make the money they hope to double or triple in an hour.

Fortunately, the habit of choosing the path of least effort and time can be broken. First, it is important for a person to assess all the options available to them to attain their goal. Secondly, they have to weigh each option to find which one can guarantee long term success regardless of how long it may take. Thirdly, one has to deliberately choose to take the road that will ensure long term success regardless of how hard it may be to change their usual norms. Lastly the big question is how many people have attained their success using the path of least resistance?
(image credit to www.gavinortlund.com and www.triangleresolutions.com)