Listen and Learn

This evening I took the opportunity to attend an Intergenerational Dialogue session about the Role of Restitution in SA…..I say took as I think many of us see opportunities before us but do not grab them with both hands as it is meant to be.

The session took place at the oldest Cathedral in Southern Africa and the mother church of the Anglican Diocese in Cape Town. It became a cathedral in 1848 in the time of the first bishop, Robert Gray whose throne still stands in the sanctuary.

It was a fitting venue to discuss such a difficult topic, a place of peace and sanctity in which to reflect positively on a topic that speaks of confronting injustice and actively deciding what needs to be done to address a past that continues to erode the present despite our many efforts.

The speakers were well prepared in there account of the questions posed to them before namely, 

1. What do they see as the South African Dream?

2. What obstacles are there that might affect this dream?

3. Role of Restitution in making this dream come true?

It was interesting to hear the different backgrounds of each speaker and how they related each of the questions above to their daily circumstances both past and present, they also drew comparison on current issues facing South Africa in terms of education and our Governmental situations.

What was most interesting to me was the emotional account by Sharon Verwoerd and her reflection of the conditions she faces at the school she teaches at in Mitchel’s Plain…I commend her on her dream for a South Africa where everyone is seen in equal value and that they know that they are worth something. It was sad to hear that only 4% of grade 9 learners are passing maths and this due to obastacles facing these youngsters… do we combat this statistic?….This is the question.

There was a question and answer session which brought out some good comments and could lead to more interesting debates….but the one thing that came out for me as a solution was the word LISTEN, if we take the time to listen to each other and engage each other with empathy maybe Restitution can happen.

Goodness is Stronger than evil                     Love is stronger than hate.                           Light is stronger that death.                         Victory is ours through Him who loves us. – Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu

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