When Fishermen don’t fish, they fight

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The story is told of two best friends who went fishing with the one’s father for the weekend. They left the Friday evening with every promise of a glorious fishing weekend. The only problem was that when they got to their destination it rained, ruining their chances of fishing .The boys were forced to keep themselves busy by playing games. With no sign that the rain was going to abate, their hopes fading of any fishing they began to quarrel and argue and eventually they were at each other’s throats. The father then decided that perhaps it was best that they return home and to try another day. The moral of the story, when fishermen don’t fish, they fight. You see when people are not doing what they are supposed to be doing they end up fighting one another. When they are not tapping into their creative side, they derive meaning from fighting others and soon their actions cripple organizations and take the focus of the leadership away from the true meaning of why they exist in the fist place .The danger is that some organizations may very well become self serving institutions, where we stroke our egos at the expense of the mission of the organization. South Africa is blessed and defined by visionary leadership with ambitious goals. Our vision to half unemployment by 2014 is both scary and compelling. In a recent study on the state of youth it was reported that youth represent 70 % of the estimated 40% unemployment.

At the same time it is estimated that R 21.1 billion will be available for skills development over the next 5 years through the national skills development strategy. So what should the role of a school for instance be, I belief that it is not to see how many A candidates the school can produce, but it should be to ensure that the youth that graduate from our institutions are well adjusted young people that are conscious of the global realties and opportunities, conscious of their civic obligations and duties and have the ability to find themselves in that world. If our aim is simply to compete about who gets the most A candidates then I am afraid we are missing the point. I felt so proud the other day when Wayne Julius who is a graduate of Charleston Hill Secondary, scored two tries in the Currie Cup semi final, the commentator cried out, “they did not count on the man from Charleston Hill”, it was great to hear that and to see how our youth are making it.

We need to support them, encourage them and speak life into their impossible dreams. Those of us working in corporate South Africa or occupying positions of power and influence should use our positions to raise the socio economic issues and not loose our activist cause. An activist is driven by principle and passion as opposed to self interest and greed .You being employed, having skills, being educated places and obligation on you to ensure that those still trapped in poverty, graduate from it. You do after all owe your current position to those who sacrificed for the liberties that you today enjoy. Honour your uniqueness, live your life boldly and do not pretend you are someone else in order to win approval from others. Will you fish or will you fight?

Monday, October 24, 2005 - 12:00