Have you ever sat down and thought about the lives of others? Occasionally I do. The first time I thought about it for real was probably in 1999. Parked on top of Northcliff hill looking down into the sea of street lights and homes lit up I wondered what was going on in those homes at that moment. I hoped that love, kindness and joy presided.
Sitting in the quiet gardens of New Times Media building ,waiting for my celebrity to arrive, sipping my cappuccino I reflect.
Firstly on how little time I have had this year to simply be quiet. Flip 2016 has been a sprint! But I cannot complain as I have done a lot and been through a lot.The exuberant birds are chirping away and I smile wondering if they are gossiping about me like I them….lol.
A sense of nostalgia fills an exhausted body, mind and spirit this morning as I rerun the mornings conversation with the Taxify driver and a conversation with an incredibly high profile client concerning the state of narrow-minded thinking of South African mindsets.
U see the client is in a multi-racial marriage. The thought provoking conversation revolved around a ‘white’ comment about how SA is worse off than before. So to re-iterate her words:”In the old SA people couldn’t marry who they loved if it was outside of their race classification. Also people weren’t granted jobs no matter how qualified they were if they were the wrong colour.Or my kids weren’t allowed to go to the schools that provided the better education.”
My heart breaks at the thought of how easily I can forget how far we have come to restore equality amongst race classes and genders. And how far we still must go…..
As a hairstylist I was asked once by a woman: “How can a male stylist know what a woman wants?” Well hun my answer to that is twofold.Firstly after 23 years in the industry most woman don’t know themselves. Secondly I don’t know what woman want but for every visit in the salon I use all the design knowledge, personality profile education and creative intelligence I have accumulated over 23 years and life experience to invent a look that is personalised for the information given in the moment.
The same woman also regarded motor engineering as an exclusive male occupation…….mmmmmm.
So what does this all have to do with this blog.
Simply this!!! (here it comes….ohhlala…I love it when God talks to me like this…woop woop)
The driver told me how he used to work at a major pharmacy chain and earned R4000 a month as a teller. Working for Taxify he takes home about R15000 a month depending on how busy it is. He knows how to drive and can work his own hours and lives better without being exploited for another’s profit. Opportunities that he would never have had in Apartheid SA.
Thinking about the people in Townships and having to catch their life-risking 2 trip taxi’s to get to and from work at R20 a pop makes me see just how far we still must go to raise the standards of equal opportunities for all. Think about it R20 x2 x2 ×20 working day’s =R1600. R4500-R1600= R2900. That is what is left to get electricity and water, food , clothing and raise a family.
I COULDN’T DO IT…..COULD YOU?
So NO I may not know what woman want or be a shining example of being a ‘perfect’ human but I do know that the little bit that I can afford that I give to the ladies that assist my clients everyday makes a tiny dent in a world where inflation is tightening the belts of the already too tight population that too easily we forget about. Forgotten because in our high walled posh suburbs that population is miles away. Possibly only starting to cook supper because of long arduous travelling trips in over-cramped rides. Only to be awake at 4 am to be on time for a profit driven enterprise that easily replaces a human based on favourable performance without regard for circumstances caused by an Elitism that has wounded more hearts than it can count.
So the next time we get into our fancy cars in our fancy clothes and exclusive cliques leaving the fancy home with the one we love remember not too long ago many had to have a pass to enter into those spaces because we thought we were better than.
MUCH I AM SURE TO THE DISGUST OF GOD WHO CREATED ALL OF US TO BE HIS CHILDREN.