The Non-Festive Season Post

Written on the day before Christmas 2015, originally published on Facebook

Being the captain of Team Grinch, I do not feel particularly sentimental at this time of year. But I’ve got a couple of things on my mind:

If you’ve had a year past such as the one I’ve had, and I know many of you have, one may feel that there is ample to feel hard done by about — and that is no doubt a valid sentiment. We live in a time and society where relationships have become our go to support instrument for just about everything.

And when those flounder, so do we.

There is a world out there with Village / Community software pre-loaded, but as individuals we have long stopped choosing to tap into that. And to our own collective detriment.

My domestic worker is this massive woman called Gladys. Every two weeks, she sings and boogies her way through cleaning my flat with gusto. A week ago, while she was ironing my work shirts, she told me she’s going home for Christmas this year, she needs it.

And why is that Gladys?

She’s lost all 4 her children in the space of three or so years to disease and murder. The last one was stabbed to death in August by a guy who was jealous of him dating this girl.

We live in a country where poor health services access played a decisive role in a mother losing 3 of her children, and where social fabric decay and a lack of respect for the law cost her the only one she had left. And her brother died in the same year.

I was going through shit in August too, or so I thought. Gladys knew I was suffering; I had no idea that she was. And sure, our own hurts are closer than those of others, but there is definite perspective here, and ample reasons for gratitude.

So in a post religious, post hope and post progress world, what do we do with our time on earth then?

Look around, to those people around you, and you’ll find all the opportunities to build a meaningful life.

Merry Christmas.

Like what you read? Give Andre Bothma a round of applause.

From a quick cheer to a standing ovation, clap to show how much you enjoyed this story.