In the last few days there has been much written about the crisis we face as a nation and indeed as a world. I am no authority on our future nor on the prospects of how we will get through this crisis.
I am, however, a believer: a believer in hope, in the promise of our youth, in the resilience of us as a nation, even as the words of our president ring in our ears, “never before in the history of our democracy has our country been confronted with such a severe situation”.
But it will take a monumental commitment from each one of us - and this is my message to your sons - the world as we know it has changed at this time.
As we then approach this uncertain future let us do so with a firm resolve to cultivate hope.
We do not know how long our social distancing protocol will need to be in place but we do know that we will need to encourage each other at this time and be true to our resolve to overcome in the weeks and months to come. Time spent as a family away from crowds and public spaces is part of the social distancing protocols we have been asked to follow. Time doing puzzles, walking in the park, hiking a mountain, reading a book together, cooking a meal.
Our greatest mission is to assist in making men of purpose, valour and empathy. Now is a moment in this learning journey not to be missed.
Please embrace this moment with the gravity it requires. Help your sons to understand the desperate conditions many of those less fortunate could face in the immediate future.
Our inconvenience of not being at school pales into insignificance when compared to the potential struggle many others may face in the coming weeks.
Viktor Frankl, the Austrian Neurologist and Psychiatrist and Holocaust survivor, said that “the greatest freedom is the freedom to choose one’s attitude”. This dictum is particularly apt at this time. He also said that, “when we are no longer able to change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves”.
This will be a learning opportunity for all of us. Let’s be wholehearted in our approach.
Nkosi Sikelel’ iAfrika
Nkosi sikelela, thina