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A Little Perspective.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Where I live , South of Johannesburg on a ten acre smallholding, I find myself in an odd cross section of small pockets of wealth , moderate amounts of middle income households , and disturbingly large numbers of very poor households. As our house is situated near the top of a hill I often find myself watching people cutting wood from the farm next door and dragging the branches away to their houses to use for both cooking and heating , as well as to provide warm water for washing. These people either have no electricity or have had their supply disconnected for non payment. At the beginning of this year my 14 year old son moved up to his first year of high school , and half way through the first term received a message from one of his friends to say that he was not yet enroled in any high school as his widowed mother was unable to pay for transport costs , school fees , books and uniforms. As a family we have been hard hit by unemployment and the poor economy but are truly thankful for every plate of food we eat and every day we can make it to school and for me to get to work.
Okay , head scratching time ! What does this have to do with weight loss ? Nothing . But it highlights the selfish , stupid and cruel obsessions which we have developed as a society with youth , beauty , ultra slim bodies and various " celebrity endorsed" diet plans , usually involving such things as prawns , mushrooms , fillet steak and the like. How can we even give 2 minutes of our attention to such things when there are people in your neighbourhood who can't afford bread? Isn't it time that we got a bit of perspective on this thing and try to simplify our thinking ? If you have enough money to buy that fillet steak , why don't you buy a chicken and some vegetables and give it to a family who needs it rather than get that perfect bottle of red wine to go with your steak? No it won't make you any slimmer or get your diet plan going any faster , but it will help to balance things out a bit.
Sorry I can't help myself - watching people dragging branches home to make a fire to cook on while others moan because their steak was not cooked to perfection is too much for me to bear in silence. This won't make me thinner but I wanted to get it off my chest - I hate the injustice of it all !
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    Oh yes Celeste , that equaliser will come. Your sister was so right. Reading magazines which tell us about this "must have" accessory or that "must have" pair of shoes costing thousands when people can't afford to eat - oh my blood boils ! Obssessing about this choice of luxury food as opposed to that - which is better for my diet ? Some people will go to bed with nothing tonight.
    3193 days ago
    So true! My younger sister when she was alive used to say "I wish for something like war to bring about an equalizer to everybody". dont get me wrong, she didnt want war...just a great equalizer. Wouldnt it be wonderful if people really heard you and shared their excesses? Too sad that we read about people buying gucci bags that cost R126 000 while another dies slowly from lack of sustenance. Have you read the latest Awake titled "The cry for justice - Will it be heard?"
    fantastic information on how the inustice WILL be done away with.
    3193 days ago
    When I see how this system has robbed people of everything right down to their most basic dignity it makes us simply long for that new system to come. For someone like that mother to battle like that for even the most basic things is tragic.
    3193 days ago
    It is tough to watch anyone struggle just to manage each day. I used to call on a lady with three very small children. She lived in an abandoned house...no running water, no electricity, not even doorknobs. The house had been damaged in a hurricane and never restored. Her husband was in jail. I was always amazed at her resilience...her kids were clean and cheerful. They had to walk quite a way just to get out to the main road...and she would have to carry the youngest all that distance. It is knowing the inequities of this system of things that touches the heart of at least some people...and we do what we can to help. It will take a total change of the world scene to rectify the terrible inequities of human life now. We know that change is coming...soon!
    3193 days ago
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