The quality of a person’s social life could have an even greater impact than diet and exercise on their health and well-being. There is growing evidence that being a member of a social group can significantly reduce the risk of conditions like stroke, dementia and even the common cold
In response to the popular programme The Weakest Link, Kyknet will be launching an Afrikaans version. After many months of creative brainstorming they managed to come up with a catchy Afrikaans version of “You are the weakest link; goodbye!” The producers have settled on what will surely become a popular phrase - and applicable in many other situations too…
- You produce a R100 note instead of your driver’s licence when stopped by a traffic officer - You can do your monthly shopping on the pavement - You have to hire a security guard whenever you park your car - You can count the national soccer team’s scores with no fingers - To get free electricity you have to pay a connection fee of R750 - Hijacking cars is a profession - You can pay your tuition fees by holding up a sign at a traffic light - The petrol in your tank may be worth more than your car - “Just Now” can mean anything from a minute to a month - You continue to wait after a traffic light has turned to green to make way for taxis travelling in the opposite direction - Travelling at 120 km/h you’re the slowest car on the highway - You’re genuinely and pleasantly surprised whenever you find your car parked where you left it - A bullet train is being introduced but we can’t fix potholes - The last time you visited the coast you paid more in speeding fines and road toll fees than you did for the entire holiday - You paint your car’s registration number on the roof - Only half of your mail is guaranteed to reach its destination - You have to take your own linen with you if you are admitted to a government hospital - Prisoners go on strike
A further complication [for many South Africans] is the individual nature of scholarship as distinct from team sport. Scholarly work is lonely work even if one is a member of a research team. The intensity of intellectual work demands space for individuality to enhance the creativity of the team as a whole. As a society we are yet to make peace with individuality. Collectivism remains part of our heritage.
[Additionally] there is a large sector of the population which does not value intellectual work as work. There is a strong anti-intellectual ethos amongst a significant proportion of South Africans. Taking time off to reflect, read, discuss and debate matters, particularly if such matters are not of immediate practical value, is seen as an indulgence
”—Dr Mamphela Ramphele, Vice-Chancellor, University of Cape Town, August 1997
An Obituary printed in the London Times - Interesting and sadly rather true.
Today we mourn the passing of a beloved old friend, Common Sense, who has been with us for many years. No one knows for sure how old he was, since his birth records were long ago lost in bureaucratic red tape.
He will be remembered as having cultivated such valuable lessons as:
- Knowing when to come in out of the rain; - Why the early bird gets the worm; - Life isn’t always fair; - and maybe it was my fault.
Common Sense lived by simple, sound financial policies (don’t spend more than you can earn) and reliable strategies (adults, not children, are in charge).
His health began to deteriorate rapidly when well-intentioned but overbearing regulations were set in place. Reports of a 6-year-old boy charged with sexual harassment for kissing a class mate; teens suspended from school for using mouthwash after lunch; and a teacher fired for reprimanding an unruly student, only worsened his condition.
Common Sense lost ground when parents attacked teachers for doing the job that they themselves had failed to do in disciplining their unruly children. It declined even further when schools were required to get parental consent to administer sun lotion or an aspirin to a student; but could not inform parents when a student became pregnant and wanted to have an abortion.
Common Sense lost the will to live as the churches became businesses; and criminals received better treatment than their victims. Common Sense took a beating when you couldn’t defend yourself from a burglar in your own home and the burglar could sue you for assault.
Common Sense finally gave up the will to live, after a woman failed to realise that a steaming cup of coffee was hot. She spilled a little in her lap, and was promptly awarded a huge settlement. Common Sense was preceded in death, by his parents, Truth and Trust, by his wife, Discretion, by his daughter, Responsibility, and by his son, Reason.
He is survived by his 4 stepbrothers; I Know My Rights, I Want It Now, Someone Else Is To Blame, and I’m A Victim.
Not many attended his funeral because so few realised he was gone. If you still remember him, pass this on. If not, join the majority and do nothing.