Looking Forward...

As someone who loves to read, even I have been shocked by my own lack of reading in the past few weeks (ok months). Between all the day-to-day activities, I get so pressed for time that reading is relegated to those few minutes before my eyes and body quit on me for the day. Each night, there is the promise that I'll get through just one more page and sometimes it happens, but most nights it doesn't.

Well last night I switched things around and made reading just one article a priority. As you will see, that was by far the best decision I made all day long! The choice: Mandela's Children by Zimbabwean writer Alexandra Fuller for National Geographic. Why did this article have me rapidly fanning moisture out of my eyes as I sat on the porch? Simple. Fuller takes a beautiful country with a brutal system underpinning it's past, provides an account of violence, peace, redemption and forgiveness and show such a hopeful future for the people of South Africa. I was moved because I rarely ever think about how recently apartheid ended; the major disparities that continue to exist between those who benefitted from the system and everybody else; how this nation has to continue working so hard to move beyond the damage from the past; or that it's the everyday decisions of individuals to be better, see others in a new light that is going to make the country (and any country for that matter) a better place.

Here is a little snippet of what you have to look forward to....

"He decided that the best way he could avoid waking up one morning a foreigner in his own country was to become the minister of a rural, black congregation. On the day in February 1992 that Deon Snyman was installed as a minister in the Dutch Reformed Church in Africa—the church's black branch—in Nongoma, in the heart of the KwaZulu homeland, his 54-year-old father stood up in front of the congregation, all of whom were Zulus, and said this: "Well, it is clear that South Africa is going to change. But I am an Afrikaner. I do not know if I have the capacity to change. Also, I am an old man. I do not know if I have the skills to change." Then the father indicated his 26-year-old son. 'So today, I give you my son. If you can teach him the rules of the new South Africa, he can teach us those rules. If you can give him the skills to live in this new country, he can show us those skills.'"

To continue reading more, click here where you will also get to see more of these amazing images by amazingly talented and famous photographer James Nacthwey.

{Photos and quote: National Geographic}

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