Sunday, October 31, 2010

Some will give all just to own your troubles

Within the borders of South Africa, different people are having sleepless nights for different reasons. Somewhere in Shongweni near Durban, a 13-year old girl is grappling with the horror of a brutal rape by lower-than-low criminals over the past week. The same low-lives have also wreaked havoc in the lives of the relatives of six murder victims from two families that were wiped out during the insane killing rampage. The Shongweni community at large is terrified and traumatized.

Somewhere else in Mzansi, another family faces a headache of totally different sorts. The Gupta family is having sleepless nights over the opposition by their neighbours to their plans to construct a R52 million helipad within the premises of their home in Johannesburg's affluent Saxonworld suburb. Business tycoon Kenny Kunene is also fuming over Labour Unionist Zwelinzima Vavi's criticism of his lavish R700 000 birthday party calling it an "insult to the poor." Kunene has taken offence at the attack on his wealth and the fact that the R700 000 figure is lower than the actual figure spent.

This glaring difference in the nature or level of life's misfortunes is not just peculiar to South Africa. It is a common occurance in all of the globe. When we take a moment to look around at how people's lives are upturned (sometimes in the split of a second) by earthquakes, tsunamis, disease, war and crime, it really makes a small deal of what we think are mammoth problems and crises in our lives. Next time you feel that you are the most wretched and unfortunate soul on earth, take a minute to scour the newspaper or surf the news and you will be sure to come across many who would give anything to swop their troubles for yours. Food for thought.

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