Lessons from South Africa

Lessons from my own country (South Africa) show that issues of race, gender, diversity, culture and even soil; hold comparatively little value compared to trust, reconcilliation, self-actualization and other basic human needs. Of course, we are a young democracy still finding its feet; yet we have learned in a very short period how to manage 11 distinct races, a population with a median age of 17 years and the de-construction of long held cultural forms.

In this living laboratory of human interaction we call home, one common understanding reigns supreme: we honor our diversity. We understand it to be the essential component of survival amongst all species. It provides the ability to adapt and prosper, no matter what the nature of the challenge. We don’t always succeed at first but, eventually, we find safe ground when we re-focus on the essential humanity underlying our apparent differences.

Speaking for my myself, I am a 15th generation African of European descent; yet I am seperated by less than one half of a percent genetically from some of my countrymen who hold no physical resemblance to me. The irony is that, time makes a mockery of human affairs; what is up today is down tomorrow. Only by embracing our universal nature can we overcome the artificial constructs of separation.

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