While I was away for the first two weeks of August, large parts of White River had a sustained power outage of some 50 hours, due to a failed transformer that had to be completely replaced. Relocating one from another area, recommissioning etc was a lengthy process. Social media exploded with complaints and abuse, as a few stalwarts tried to keep people informed and updated. Venom was heaped on them, even though some of these individuals didn’t work for the Municipality, had no control over what was happening on the ground and were just trying to assist the public at large.
A bunch of us in White River have recently come together and are working on being brave and putting ourselves out there, both on a personal and business level. We are learning to be true to who we are and to share that with the world. Finding and being the real you without masks is not easy but it is worth it.
It is only now, as I write this blog that I realize just how powerful my advice to McClintock was, not only for him, but for me. I have watched the unfolding of his journey with delight and awe, because when we “just start” – as the founders of We Are White River did back in 2014 – magic happens.
Pediatric Care Africa is a non-profit organisation that provides lifesaving assistance and hope to less fortunate children in our local communities and throughout Africa.
In a recent speech, actor Jeff Bridges referenced ocean-going tankers. These require enormous rudders to turn, and it took too much energy to turn the rudder to turn the ship. So engineers came up with a brilliant idea. Let’s put a little rudder on the big rudder. The little rudder will turn the big rudder, the big rudder will turn the ship. The little rudder is called a trim tab.
Getting involved does not necessarily mean you need to start participating in marches, or chaining yourself to palisade fences, but never under-estimate the impact you could make with your voice or action, and encouraging others to do the same. Teach your children who, after all, are the ones who are going to inherit this current mess!
It is good to celebrate where you come from and to be proud of your school, your language, your history, your culture, your religion but is not ok to teach your children that yours is the best or the only right one. That is based entirely on your opinion or belief. Passing this on as fact is limiting and dishonest. Children need to know that there is a bigger world out there. Outside of your beliefs, outside of White River, outside of Nelspruit, outside of South Africa.
The reality is that it’s who you know and how you connect with the community that’s important. It’s about keeping the awareness of you and your business out there. People forget and “out of sight out of mind” applies. You need to keep reminding them you are around. Find out what community organizations exist, White River has the brilliant We Are White River, a concept that was born out of a passion to build bridges, bring communities in the town together and create opportunities for businesses to grow. Connect with the influencers, the “faces” and ask questions. Get involved with, and support, community events.
We are now well into the swing of 2019, for some it has been a frantic start, a sort of ‘hit the ground running’ after the Festive season while for others it has been more challenging to get going. It looks like this year is going to be every bit as interesting as last year, with political turmoil across the world and we are just 3 months away from our own general election. If you are someone who watches the news regularly you may be shaking your head in a combination of amazement and horror at the insanity of it all.
The new outreach centre was created with the support of many local people and particularly the Japhet family, who have done so much good work for Uplands and the local community. It is a beautiful centre, set amongst tall trees on the Uplands property and you could hear the excitement in Violah Moya’s voice as she talked about it. Violah is the Operations Manager at Uplands outreach.