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Make your voice heard, participate in the process


We are misguided into believing that great writing flowed as whole gobs of glory for us to drool over

File picture: Phill Magakoe

A great writer was asked: How hard is it to write? He thought for a short while and said:

“Well, this morning I put in a comma, and this evening I took it out.”

I encourage every child and adult, every friend and caregiver, to try their hand at writing. It does not have to be profound or earth-shattering stuff. It will just be a way to break the malaise in communication we are suffering, in the form of canned information – and by pathetic extension, canned sentiment.

Start a diary. Or a journal. Or a goal-setting page-a-day entry. Write at the start of a new day. Or at the end of a long and trying day.

Start a conversation with yourself.

Say the things that good breeding or decorum might prevent you from saying in public.

We are misguided into believing that great writing flowed as whole gobs of glory for us to drool over.

Not so.

Writing is recording life. The best writing is not necessarily that which already exists.

The best writing is yet to come.

One could, in these intense times, either be a spectator or a participant.

Our destinies are about to change in major ways because we have at last overcome our reluctance to lift the seventh veil.

The rot of corruption must be excised.

We need fresh voices and new visions. Those who brought us to the abyss of despair should be brought to book.

The new ones should be told what to expect if they don’t up their game.

How can you and I participate in the process?

By making our voices heard. Drop the ready-made mediocrity of social media and the tsunami of instant solutions that are on offer. Engage with those who govern.

This right must apply for all people, not only card-carrying ANC members.

We should insist on the need for change, and guide with our letters to the editor, our conscious responses to the many exhortations to look to the well-being of the old, the homeless, the hungry.

We should initiate dialogue with captains of industry by questioning their arrogant pricing.

We should take the lesson from the massive sales that follow seasonal spending.

We shouldn’t demand that anything should fall.

Rather, we must ask what it is that we can elevate by intelligent and proactive participation.

Parents can really help their children by participative interventions.

Ask about the school day.

Acknowledge the value of the young child’s contribution and opinion.

Allow them to make suggestions for more effective schooling, better national sporting teams, ways in which we can integrate the ubiquitous cellphone into our lives as a tool for learning rather than mindless twitter.

Make your voice heard.

You can make a difference.