Our chil­dren must learn the power of their hands

CityPress - - Business - Muzi Kuzwayo business@city­press.co.za Kuzwayo is the founder of Ig­ni­tive, an ad­ver­tis­ing agency

The great­ness of a na­tion does not lie in its cel­e­brated states­men or its glo­ri­ous rivers. It is not found in its vast val­leys or high above its ma­jes­tic moun­tains.

In­stead, it is in the ac­tions of its com­mon peo­ple – the ma­jor­ity of the men and women who raise its chil­dren.

It is in the hands of those who build its houses brick by brick, and all those who pro­duce what is bought, sold and con­sumed.

Prod­ucts can­not pro­duce them­selves. It goes with­out say­ing that a na­tion’s fo­cus should be on honouring its com­mon peo­ple.

There is no greater hon­our for par­ents than to treat their chil­dren well, and there is no bet­ter way to raise chil­dren than to teach them to be bet­ter than their par­ents.

“This is my daugh­ter, she is a lawyer,” is the best sen­tence a do­mes­tic worker could ut­ter.

The road to that sweet peak is spiked with hard work, heart­break and bro­ken dreams – lit­er­ally, when par­ents wake their chil­dren up while they’re still snor­ing un­der the warmth of the blan­ket.

Our chil­dren are grow­ing up at a time when ev­ery­thing seems in­stant and free.

In the morn­ing when they wake up, they are hit by the flimsy glitz of In­sta­gram and, when com­par­ing their lives with those they see there, are in­stantly tossed into the cage of non-achiev­ers.

This makes them re­sent the peo­ple who threw them into that cage, and it is not the peo­ple in the selfie, but their own par­ents who they un­in­ten­tion­ally ac­cuse of be­ing un­der­achiev­ing creaky bones.

So­cial me­dia is prov­ing to be vi­o­lence of a spe­cial kind. It hurts the mind. It cre­ates de­sire and help­less­ness at the same time.

It can­not be con­quered, much as we can­not tame the fierce­ness of a trop­i­cal storm.

So­cial me­dia is the evil ge­nius of our time.

At first glance, it is sad that our chil­dren can­not go to the vault of his­tory to find a sense of pride.

Un­like the Ital­ians, they can­not walk through a mu­seum to see the ev­i­dence of the great Ro­man Empire.

They can­not walk through grandiose mosques or im­pos­ing cathe­drals that their fore­fa­thers built.

Every mon­u­ment in this coun­try has blood­stains, and every statue is a sym­bol of de­feat for some­one.

Every tri­umph has its de­trac­tors, and every loss is a rea­son for some­one to cel­e­brate.

Our foun­da­tion is di­vi­sive.

Some feel that rec­on­cil­i­a­tion was apartheid’s ul­ti­mate in­jus­tice.

It al­lowed the per­pe­tra­tors to get away with mur­der and is the cause of to­day’s cul­ture of im­punity.

Oth­ers feel it was a nec­es­sary re­set, be­cause the al­ter­na­tive would have been worse.

The two sides, like the poles on ei­ther side of the Earth, will not meet, and try­ing to make them rec­on­cile their dif­fer­ences will yield no profit.

We have to learn to live with that po­lar­ity, like many other things that are be­yond the grasp and com­mand of mere mor­tals.

Sixty years ago, the so­lu­tion was thought to be in the work­place and the work­ing class. How­ever, work as we know it is com­ing to an end.

The days of peo­ple stand­ing at an im­per­sonal assem­bly line cre­at­ing industrial-sized com­rade­ship are over.

Unions are weak­en­ing be­cause the work­place has evolved.

To­day, the so­lu­tion lies in reawak­en­ing crafts­man­ship, which was killed by mass pro­duc­tion.

We must teach our chil­dren to labour with their hands again, and breathe soul into their work – some­thing a ro­bot can­not do.

Let them use the ge­nius side of so­cial me­dia to sell their wares to the world.

It is their crafts­man­ship that will ce­ment this di­vided na­tion and raise it to new heights.

The days of peo­ple stand­ing at an im­per­sonal assem­bly line cre­at­ing in­dus­tri­al­sized com­rade­ship are over

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