Thursday, August 2, 2012

Our backgrounds are not the determinants of our future

My previuos post on the Affirmative Action received some really interesting response. Some people fairly agreed with me but a lot of people were quite hurt and angered by my sentiments. I have always known that we are a bit of a dysfunctional society, but I was not aware of the amount of anger we carry with us as a result of our past.
One comment that stood out for me was from one reader who assumed that my view on our economic state and our political system might be influenced by my age and  background.
He felt that I am too young to be discussing state issues such as the Affirmative Action. He also presumed that I come from a well off family, therefore I am not affected by the harsh realities of our country hence my deviating opinions on Affirmative Action. My response to both these allegations? This man is completely wrong.
Though I felt his antagonism as an unemployed young South African, I dismally failed to understand how he came to his conclusion.
Of course I tried to gain some understanding by asking him but my attempt was only met with silence. This incident brought back to my mind an issue that I have been meaning to address for sometime. In my opinion, our backgrounds are really not the determinants of our future. Therefore, I don’t see why we should refer to them when we seek a way forward.
However, I fully aggree that one’s past can be a powerful tool to use in carving a better future. Please allow me to make use of my own experince as an example. I was raised by a single mother together with my three siblings in a tiny 3 roomed shack and later a warm house that we are all proud of. My upbringing was not at all glits and glam. My mother’s hardwork, which ultimately saw me to my current state of life kept me and my siblings above the water. So there you have it; I do not come from a well off family.
I could have chosen to blame the government for my lack of access to all the basics I needed to get by like some of my peers did. I could have been rebelious against the public education that I received and dropped out of school. I could have refused to work hard while other children from other races received all their wishes on a silver platter.
But I did’nt.
It did not make sense  to expect some legislations to see me through life. Their mere existance were an an encouragement enough for me to get up and claim a comfortable life for myself. I did not see how my complaints about the past that I was not even a part of would ensure me a bright future. So  just like my mother, I resorted to hardwork to see me through life. And let me tell you, it worked like a charm.  

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