Monday, April 20, 2015

Take the anger out of a stranger

Everyone who drives in Africa will know of the people that stand at traffic lights and make many a driver angry and annoyed as they try to sell you something or give you promotional material of some sort? Of course there are also those who try to clean your car before the light turns green (call it instant car wash), whether you like it or not. Well I had a different experience last week as I opened my window to receive a red rose with a note saying " do something nice today for a total stranger". What an action oriented and pleasant surprise as well as food for thought!! Believe me or not, I tried to look for a website or telephone number because I thought these were marketers who would have put their contacts there for me to maybe peruse their products or something, but I found none. This is is what motivated me to write about this incident. Doing something good for someone with no thought of something back in return. Do we still have this in our world? Well I can testify that we do after my experience of the day, but maybe we do not have enough of such incidents or people willing to be the one doing it. This is a great humane wave to spread around, for people to just do things for strangers without expecting anything in return, but leave the next person feeling warm and fuzzy inside and still believing in humanity and oneness. There is a lot of strangers around you who can receive something from you, and it does not have to be of value and not necessarily money. A smile seems expensive these days so giving one could be a good thing for a start. Allowing someone to go first in a queue? Stopping to ask someone if everything is well with them when they look stressed, confused or disoriented, offering something priceless to someone. Whatever it is let us do it as a challenge to do something nice for a total stranger today and comment about the effect it makes. I recall giving a young boy from the street, "street kid" as they are called, a pair of old shoes more than 10 years ago and to this day, whenever I drive past where he hangs around in town he comes to have a chat with me without expecting money from me. What have you done for a stranger lately? Have a great day.

Monday, April 6, 2015

The power of a dream

Image: Dominic Skelton
Andile "Given" Sibanyoni , received a police officer's burial at his funeral in March 2015. Andile was only 8 years old when he died, but had held on to the dream of becoming a metro police officer so dearly that it was made "reality" for him for a day in 2014 while he was alive and then finally as he was honored with a police officer's burial by the City of Tshwane. More than 100 metro police officers went out to the small town of Piterskraal, Mpumulanga, on the day of his funeral to pay Given their last respects. The Tshwane Metro Police Department (TMPD) ceremonial unit, (a drill team, choir and band) performed and sang alongside community members at the funeral. Andile left a great lesson for people who carry their dreams lightly and think they can never achieve them. Dreams can come true whether you are dead or alive, as proven by Andile. Andile lost his battle with cancer but had always wanted to be a metro cop and specifically to ride the police motorcycles. In November 2014, his dreams were made reality when he visited the Metro Police Department and spent a day in the life of a metro police officer thanks to Reach for a Dream. Reach for a Dream representative Mpumi Mlambo said the day's parade was an indication of just how big Given's dreams were.Reach for a dream believes in the power
of dreams and has made it its mission to help children fight life threatening diseases while reaching their various dreams and the story of Andile is one among many. If a young man like Andile could carry his dream to such an extent where he got a whole metro police department to honor him as a real cop, how much more can we do to achieve our dreams? This is just my short story today to encourage you to hold on to your dream and pursue it with all you have. Someone relevant will notice your efforts and support you to reach that dream.