Johannesburg - The curtain is coming down on our second year in a Covid-19 lockdown. It’s been a tough year that most of us would like to put behind us. We’ve lost loved ones; we’ve lost icons and we narrowly missed a full-scale insurrection in July.
It is traditional on the last day of the year to find something positive to look forward to as the New Year dawns. In truth, many of us are a bit liverish about New Dawn allusions after four years of what appears to have been very little resolute action against the kleptocrats and the general malfeasance that has polluted our national well.
But this is South Africa; there’s always something to look forward to. Winston Churchill famously described a pessimist as someone who finds the difficulty in every opportunity, while paradoxically an optimist finds the opportunity in every difficulty.
We have many difficulties; the apex one being our unprecedented level of unemployment, exacerbated by the heart-breaking hopelessness of our legions of jobless youth, but we also have much to be grateful for.
It’s important to never lose sight of the fact that when all appeared lost, our centre held in 2021; our institutions, some severely weakened by cadre deployment and nepotism, did not implode and the pandemic, which brought our economy to its lowest ebb and cruelly exposed the inequalities in this nation, finally seemed less virulent.
We enter 2022 with great hope, yet tempered by the dashed expectations we had this time last year. Not for nothing is the current punchline that 2022 is actually 2020 too. In the end, a lot will come down to personal choice and conviction: will you see the difficulty in every opportunity or the opportunity in every difficulty?
We hope you’ll see the glass half full. We do. Happy New Year.