Apparently it’s supposed to breed character.

Or some such.

Heard a plea on the radio yesterday. About giving donations so that school shoes can be bought for kids that has to travel long distances to school, without shoes.

I’ve never been so broke that I did not have shoes.

My parents have though. And their parents before them. I’m sure there’s nary a person out there that has not heard a story or two of how bad things was in the old days. Times where money was scarce enough that shoes were a luxury few could afford.

So I’ve been thinking. If those people managed to go on to live relatively decent lives, even though they faced adversity when young, why can’t kids of today also do that? And please. Don’t start on the whole advantaged and disadvantaged thing. In the new crapheap we call South Africa, everybody is supposed to have the same opportunities. Alas. there are so many more people that the few opportunities going are snapped up by other people.

I might be over simplifying things, a very likely occurrence, but to my way of thinking, all that’s happening now is the perpetuating of the hand out mentality. A question of – Fine. I don’t have shoes, but there’s sure to be someone that will give me some. I don’t have to try to find a job, or make something to sell, or grow some veggies or even make myself a pair, I’ll just wait for a hand out. Of course, it’s kids we’re talking about, not adults. Kids should not have to think up plans on how to get hold of a pair of shoes through honest means. Their parents should do that. Therefore, if the adults don’t have money to see that their kids’ needs are met, they should not have said kids. Also oversimplifying things I realise. Still. Yet, the simplest solution is often the best one.

In a country where poverty is rife, while the chosen leaders live in the lap of utmost luxury and decadence, is it not a bit audacious asking the populace to give everything they have for either the government or the poor? Why bother working then if you’re just going to be guilted into giving money for all the snot nosed, pot bellied kids running around, NOT made by you? Certainly, those kids did not ask to be there. They did not ask to be born in abject poverty. They did not ask to live their lives tied to their, mostly single, mothers’ back, digging in garbage cans for anything salvageable. Many of those kids running around don’t even have parents anymore since AIDS is still running rampant through Sub-Saharan Africa, and mostly in South Africa. Those kids are left without any means when their parents die. Somebody has to look after them. And that somebody should Β be the state. The State that takes 10% of all my earnings. Even more from the higher income section. The State that taxes everything to the hilt. Not to build a better country, but in true African form, to line their own pockets and those of their family members.

I’m in a very adversarius position myself. thinking up all manner of things where I can live without outside help or influences because I just won’t have the money to go out and buy what I want when I need it. I will quite happily make my own shoes if I knew how. Sure it won’t be dainty heels, or even sturdy boots but there are ways of making everything – we have the proof of that from history. I can’t be waiting for people to hand me things – don’t think I could live like that. I’ll be broke, but I will always be proud.

And that, I think, is the worst thing about the hand-out mentality. No pride. Not in anything. People exist in limbo. Waiting for somebody to help them, instead of helping themselves. That’s just no way to live. Why not teach people to be proud of themselves, teach them the pride you feel in a job well done, or in making your own life count, even if it only counts for you. Don’t teach people that in order to have something all you have to do is stick out your hand and expect something to fall into it.

If you’re waiting for me to do that, you’re going to have a long wait indeed.

Gripe done for a while. Hope your Sunday is treating you with the utmost gentleness…




28 comments on “Adversity.

  1. The kids are already born, and in my view, educating them is better than the alternative. Besides, one does not have to give the shoes if one does not want (I hope it is voluntary ).

    • It’s entirely voluntary, although not completely guilt free.
      Giving is not the issue, it’s what causes the want that’s the issue.

  2. Tough one, Ghia. Handout on one hand (no pun intended) and a desperate need for charity on the other hand. Sometimes discerning the difference is difficult. At times for me it is. I truly appreciate this post and agree with what seeker wrote that perhaps education is the answer, to help others see what handouts do, short and long term for society and individuals. Thanks for this one. Paulette

  3. Ag mens aan die einde van die dag is dit maar wat ons moet aanvaar, van ons het en kan help of nie help nie,Van ons het en kan nie help nie, dis die lewe, ander het en vee hulle gatte af, dis die samelewing.

    • Hoekom moet ek aanvaar dat ek vir alles ten duurste moet betaal, belas word op alles wat ek koop en verkoop, en dan moet ek nog vir arm mense ook gee? Arm mense wat bestaan oor die staat niks reg bestuur nie?
      Ek aanvaar dit, dit gaan nooit verander nie, maar ek hoef nooit daarvan te hou nie.

  4. You’ve really told it like it is, 68. I so agree with you. Things here are very skewed indeed, and those who keep voting for more poverty just don’t have a clue. 😦 I could never imagine you with your hand out. You’re far too busy making ends meet. πŸ™‚ xx

    • It’s so sad that even after everything that’s wrong, people still vote for them. Making everything that much more difficult for everybody, including themselves.
      taking hand outs – not my style. A hand up, sure, but never something without giving anything in return.

  5. Ghia, you put your finger on the problem, as far as I’m concerned: No pride. And this is, unfortunately not something that goes back only a generation or two – much longer, much further. I’m inclined to write it off as a ‘cultural difference’.
    A lot of negative things have been said about the (former) Calvinist / Protestant work ethic in this country, (which is largely a combination of feelings of guilt and pride) ….. but for better or for worse, it kept things going, didn’t it.
    And yes, my grandmother wore shoes with holes in them in the 1930’s. She put thick plastic inside the shoes so her feet wouldn’t get wet / dirty when she had to walk to work.

    • Having a work ethic is nothing to be ashamed of, no matter what it’s based on. If you work for somebody, they deserve your loyalty inasmuch as they pay you. That’s the bottom line. You pay me for my time, I owe you that time. If you respect me, I’ll respect you. I’ve gotten over feeling guilty for taking a sick day, but I will never get over being proud of what I do.
      I saw on FB one day a poster – Don’t spread my wealth, spread my work ethic.
      One should at least have some pride in a life worth living, otherwise, why even bother?

  6. Shoes may be overrated but if not shoes, then it’s something else–always something. I see a vicious circle: new births, more poor…on and on, and all over again. You are right. Hand UP not hand OUT.

  7. This is a tough one, and an issue I’ve seen everywhere – no matter how poor or rich the country is. There are always people who expect other people to give them something. Worst part is, education is not always the key. πŸ™‚

  8. It brings to mind soup kitchens for the homeless in the UK. Does their existence keep the homeless on the street? It’s a tough one. I know of genuine cases, but also there are plenty of real exploiters of the system.

    • Many free loaders Sarah. And that’s what the adults are teaching the kids. And they’re exploiting the bleeding heart liberals.
      A tough call to make either way.

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