A land full of untold hope, opportunities

Johannesburg – People often ask me why I haven’t left South Africa and sought greener pastures.

I am constantly reminded of all the problems we face, and I’m battered by the negativity of people in all spheres of life.

My answer is simple: I love this country and I haven’t ever lost hope for its future.

I know that might sound a little warm and fuzzy and, given the current circumstances, even difficult to understand.

I see a country where serving others is the purpose of life and financial reward is merely the outcome.

This is a country that is free of poverty and where crime is no longer the only way for destitute people to stay alive.

I see a country that warmly welcomes visiting foreigners and shows them what can be done when you have created social cohesion and a desire to all pull together for the common good.

A land where our leaders have earned the moral authority to lead.

It is this vision of the future that keeps me hopeful and gives me the determination to do whatever I can to make a contribution to its ultimate reality. You might question my naivety and even suggest that I’m living in cloud cuckoo land.

And you could be on the mark.

But I’m not ready to give up.

This country has all the ingredients to create a better life for all.

Interestingly, that was the election slogan for the ANC, “a better life for all”, which has sadly translated into “a better life for some” or “a better life for very few”.

South Africans are known to be a warm and welcoming people. We have great talent in all areas of society and many of our people have excelled around the world. We have an amazing array of cultures, art and music .

On the downside, we have failed miserably to close the income and education gap, and to create an environment of equal opportunity. Nevertheless, with all this in mind, I’m sticking to my guns and I’m keeping my vision alive.

I have long believed that business has a role to play in achieving this vision for all of us.

My personal reason for being here is to inspire people to make a positive impact on the world.

I aim to carry out this purpose for as long as my health and mind continue to serve me well.

Leaving South Africa is not even a thought I entertain. I have never compared myself to other people, as I find that tends to leave me feeling somewhat inadequate.

I do not set any specific goals because then I wonder what will happen after I reach them.

I prefer to engage in continuous learning and to spend as much time as possible trying to inspire others to do the same and to use their new-found skills to the betterment of our country and its people.

By Ian Fuhr. 

• This article is an edited excerpt from Fuhr’s upcoming book, Cultureneering: Culture, Diversity and Customer Service.

To read more political news and views from this week’s newspaper, click here. 

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