Most of my conversations these days at some or other point have water as a topic. Our beautiful country is in the grip of the worst drought that we could imagine and our coastal communities are under constant water shortage threats and restrictions. Wherever I engage with people, be it friends, members of my community or clients that I serve, WATER seems to be a conversation point.
Besides the drought, our country is caught up in the midst of quite an economic downturn. It is as if the drought has become the analogy of the economic times we are living in. The average working class family is experiencing tough times. The petrol price increased yet again, food prices are sky rocketing. Where will our hope come from?
“Water gives life”
This got me thinking, why not grab the opportunity presented and be the water to others in times of drought? What a wonderful opportunity to reach out and bring life. In the words of Santosh Kalwar: “Be like water. Float in the times of pain or dance like waves along the wind which touches its surface.”
The grass is greenest where we choose to water it and therefore instead of focusing on the gloom, I made a mind shift to be the wave that dances along the wind.
“Living creatures are nourished by food, and food is nourished by rain. Rain itself is the water of life which comes from selfless service” – Bhagavad Gita
We can be the source of water to so many other people if we are open to opportunity. Whenever I drive through the Mvoti Plaza on my way to my office in Ballito in the mornings, I notice my fellow South Africans waiting next to the freeway for taxis to pick them up and transport them to work. These economic active South Africans pay between R15 to R20 one way to get to work. This is quite a chunk out of a small monthly salary. Passing by, in an empty car, I realised that I am presented with an opportunity to be a source of water to my fellow South Africans.
The first morning I pulled over, people were wary. They cautiously approached my car and asked if I needed help. When I said that I am offering lifts to Ballito, the car filled up in a matter of seconds. Dropping off my passengers, I was offered transport money. When I said that I don’t want money, it was greeted with much appreciation for the unexpected gift. The smiles and “God bless you’s” I received in return became the wonderful soothing source of water that nourished my soul. I felt nourished by the people who shared my space for a few minutes.
During these early morning rides, the conversations across cultures, focuses on the universal challenges of raising families and creating opportunities for our children. We talk about politicians and our hope for better leadership, the drought, the weak rand and the education system. We share our thoughts and our views and most of all we share laughter. We become each other’s source of water.
By reaching out to each other in these difficult times, by breaking down barriers through support and collaboration, we as South Africans will survive the drought that we are currently gripped in. Let us all do something small today to water the garden of somebody who expects it least. Let us be the change that we want to see.
With random acts of kindness we create unexpected oasis for fellow South Africans that are not stealing their way to riches, but are getting up daily to go to work, to contribute to the taxes of our amazing country that we live in and create a future for their children.
Leonardo Da Vinci said: “Water is the driving force of all nature.” Let kindness be the driving force in these tough times. Life is like a winding river. The twists and turns may seem like a detour but it is actually an opportunity to bring nourishment to someone whom otherwise you never would have met.
Let us know in the comments how this change of mindset works for you.