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  • Writer's pictureTim and Lindsey

Reflections of a traveller - Day 333

While we were out for Sunday lunch, I was in a reflective mood, thinking about the situation in South Africa. A time of reflections of a traveller, seeing culture from a third person's viewpoint.

What we have noticed is there still seems to be a large disconnect between black and white people. I remember marching along London streets in 1978 “Rock against Racism” where there were people of all colours marching together as one and then dancing to “Identity” by X-Ray Specs in Victoria Park. The colour of our skin meant nothing, we were all together as one. Or that was my reality. South Africa is such a beautiful country in so many ways, but this underlying disconnect with fellow citizens is ruining the country. When are people going to work together? Do white people join the black people to confront racism together? I hope so. Rather look at this from a national perspective, I pondered about this from a personal basis to see if I had any answers. Marriage brings two people together from often slightly different cultures. For example, things that define my family are different from Tim’s. The Greenaways are renowned for planning. My Mum and Dad would plan and organise various functions and I and my sisters have done the same. Whereas in Tim’s family, they live more in the moment. Both have benefits, both are different. So how have we lived in harmony with this? Through good humour, respect, love and recognition of each attribute, so benefitting from both ways of being. The culture of the black and white people in South Africa seems to us like flies on the wall, to be very different. Yes, I know that I am hugely generalising. If we go back just a couple of hundred years, the black people would hunt and find food when needed. They may have had just a couple of cattle which would feed them for a year or two. Whereas white people have been farmers for centuries. They would have a herd of cattle so that they would not only feed themselves but barter or sell to others. Both have benefits, both very different ways of living. When there is no humour, no respect, no love, no recognition for the benefit of each way – what happens? Seriousness, disrespect, hate, blame. Not good. No easy and peaceful solution will be found from this place.

Tim has a very wonderful outlook on life. If in a fit of anger, I say something unkind, he doesn’t take any notice as he knows that we love each other. Our love is unconditional, just as our love for both our families are. What if we all can live from this place? Yes, I know this may seem far-fetched, yet, if we did see beyond the past, see beyond behaviours, if we saw people as whole and wonderful and we respected them, loved them unconditionally, recognised that we are all the same stardust, but created, like those gems we saw yesterday, of beautiful different hues, what would the world be like then? It is Tim and my intention to live from this place. We love chatting to everyone, including the guy from Soweto and the so-called porter at the Airport. We take each experience with a twinkle in our eye, and when we remember, we see beyond their behaviour to a place of love. Cannot we remember the importance of dignity for all human beings? Get rid of the “Us” and “Them” and transform this to “Together”.

Ok, once I had got this off my chest (I am sure it will be raised again in the next 7 weeks), we had a very nice fish meal, plus were given a bite-sized taster of one of the puddings. Argh! I couldn’t resist. That one mouthful was delicious and I am so trying to keep off the sugar. Later we went for a lovely walk along the beach with the sun gradually setting behind the horizon. The daisy shaped succulent flowers here are wonderful, bright yellow, shades of deep reds to oranges. Shame about the biting cold winds though.

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