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A conversation is recounted in the book # Shantaram  in which the character, Khaderbhai, says: “There is no such thing as believing in #G...

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Saturday, 5 December 2015


I set out one morning a couple of weeks ago on my bicycle beneath burdened skies. The clouds hung heavy overhead, pregnant with rain they were unable to deliver and bearing the burden of having to break the worst drought we have experienced in the past 40 or so years. I thought to myself: If only they could devolve their burden to those who could help them manage it - to the rivers, dams, farmers and fields. They could help spread the water to where it was needed and the burden would be shared.

And then I reflected that South Africa sits in the midst of at least three droughts: a physical one, an economic one and a political leadership drought. Arguably we are also in a moral drought, at least at Governmental level.

We have a President who is incapable of shedding his own baggage of the past and apparently incapable of dealing with the burden of a country sliding into recession under the moral bankruptcy of those who govern. What if he could devolve his burden of leadership onto those who actually care about the country more than themselves? That would be true leadership. The lesson is clear: if you carry a burden and are unable to shed it, you have to devolve it onto those who can genuinely assist, even if that means stepping out of the picture once you have handed the burden over.

Let the rain cloud release its water and then drift lightly on. It will have done its bit: the rivers will do the rest. Let our President hand over his power and move on. Let each of us do what we can to share our own burdens with those who can help and reclaim our free spirits.

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