"Treat the earth well: it was not given to you by your parents, it was loaned to you by your children. We do not inherit the Earth from our Ancestors; we borrow it from our Children."
"We do not inherit the Earth from our Ancestors, we borrow it from our Children" is an ancient Indian proverb that is reverberating in my ears. It was articulated by Craig Wing recently at a Global Shapers Johannesburg hub meeting. Its pure simplicity is quite piercing because it shows the effect of our ancestors’ actions on our current situation and it also serves as a warning on our current actions’ impact on our children.
The architects of Apartheid effectively created a problem for everyone by creating artificial boundaries that were inherently going to be brought down. Anything that is artificial does not have staying power. The social, political and economic separation that was created took the country towards the extreme right swing of the pendulum. This ensured that the minority population enjoyed the majority of the social, political and economic benefits. When the pendulum swung back in the democratic era, it reversed the exclusivity of the social and political benefits from the minority while the economic ones are still lagging far behind. The constitution of the country has guiding principles that help the pendulum to swing to a neutral position at the centre and not to the extreme left because that is also dangerous. Broad-based Black Economic Empowerment policies are meant to accelerate the swing to the middle point which makes them temporal policies that cannot be allowed to stay on forever because they will swing the country to the extreme left. The greatest blind spot suffered by the architects of apartheid was that they disregarded the circular nature of life where things swing back. The result is their children became adversely affected when their policy of separation unravels. This is also a warning to the architects of transformation policies in South...
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