It may have been raining in Joburg for six days straight, but there are still countless awesome things about living in South Africa. Here are ten that have had a positive affect on me.
1. The sky; Almost every day, hours of sunlight provide us with warmth and keep us healthy. The expansive sky above is decorated with clouds and a wide spectrum of colours for our visual pleasure all day long.
2. Variety of life; The variety of life with which we share this planet is around us all the time. The presence of birds, ants, beetles, bees, dragonflies, bats and so much more coupled with the sounds they make are invaluable to our health. Having this diversity of life around you helps you grow in ways that are not taught at school and are certainly not emphasised at the workplace. Unlike developed countries, we still have an abundance of natural beauty available for us to appreciate and spend time in.
3. Trees; The vast amount of green all around us absorbs noise and air pollution, provides us with shade, cools the air and gives us luscious and tranquil surroundings. Please don’t speed past the beauty around you, take the scenic route and notice how beautiful our country is. I believe it’s so important to keep our natural environment clean and strong and you can do that by becoming more aware of your surroundings.
4. Naturally connected; As South Africans we have the innate ability to really care about nature more than most. We’re connected to it because we spend much of our time close to it. I think this is a great advantage and increases our sense of well being and love for the place we call home. The cold, grey, lifeless bodies of metal and cement so prolific in developed counties will never be as beautiful, comforting or valuable as living, life supporting ecosystems.
5. Sincerity; We can greet and chat to people with whom we do business in a real and relaxed way. We talk to one another as people, not merely as customer and service provider. In SA these interactions have the potential to be more like a tiny relationship than a transaction, and in my experience it’s really not the same overseas. The leads on to the next point.
6. Friendliness; We’re some of the worlds friendliest people. When traveling I found that people were really receptive to South Africans and went out of their way to mention how most South Africans they had met were kind and polite! Haha.. Nice!
7. Celebration; It is part of our culture to celebrate and it is OK to be randomly happy. We work as hard as we need to and relax thereafter. I think the ability to relax and celebrate is important and this helps us to be more balanced.
8. Culture; Our country is diverse, with so many languages, cultures and traditions. Every day is challenging and the opportunity to learn and grow is around every corner. We should embrace our differences, no matter how difficult it may be.
9. Freedom of expression; Walking barefoot occasionally or taking your shirt off at a sporting event or braai is OK! Many people in this country are not economically free, but we are ALL free to express ourselves, dress how we want and speak our own language. There is very little cultural pressure, and this freedom is one of the inadvertent benefits of having a far from cohesive society!
10. Sport; Many of us love sharing the experience of watching or playing sport together whether it is cricket, soccer, rugby, tennis, golf or another sport. Sport is fun, healthy and brings us together. It is also fortunate that children have the opportunity to develop physically as well as intellectually and get to spend plenty of time outside.
So that’s my list, it is what I find awesome about my home. I hope you enjoyed it and can think of many other great things about SA.