18 C
Mossel Bay
17th Nov 2019
Community & Living

#ImStaying

Have you heard of this FB -page? Well, what I have noticed is that it is certainly here to stay.

The page was started by Jarette Petzer in September 2019 and by the 4th of October “a simple post became in less than four weeks a movement inspiring half a million South Africans, reigniting a flame in us all… Something has changed and we are not going back”.  By the 15th of October it had 675 000 followers. In one of his posts Petzer says it as it is: “675 000 hearts beating…675 000 GOOD THOUGHTS, GOOD WORDS and GOOD DEEDS… We are the light. We are South Africa!” By the 12th of October 650 000 followers have joined this page.

Reading some of the stories shared by ordinary South Africans like us, is inspirational, it is positive, at times it is heart breaking, but the best of it all – there is always a feel good ending to the stories.

No matter how insignificant or significant your act of kindness might seemto you, to another person it just might mean the world.

Interestingly enough the movement brings people from all spheres of life together. When you are feeling sorry for yourself, I recommend that you get onto this page. It is amazing how all South Africans manage to survive and rise above their personal challenges and become victorious.

Stayers, as they refer to themselves become quite creative in expressing acts of kindness. One stayer indicated that she was filling up plastic water bottles daily and freezing them overnight. She has designed an “ImStaying”- label with the wording – good thoughts, good words and good deeds – and hands these out to people that are less privileged at street corners. It goes without saying, giving money is not always required, a friendly greeting, eye contact to acknowledge another human being and a few encouraging words can go a long way.

On the page there are a number of men and women in uniform, be it from the Police, Army or Traffic Police and their message to the group is, “Soldiers, Police officers and Traffic cops are beautiful too. We’re not all what you read in the media. We love our country and we aren’t going anywhere.” Once again an important lesson learnt – “don’t paint everyone with the same brush”.

There are still good people across all races out there who stop and assist their fellow countrymen, they walk the extra mile, staying till the end of the situation ensuring that the person they have assisted is safely home, on their way, or just okay.

 Amazingly some of the Stayers find their fellow Stayers living in the same area and are arranging social activities, like the group in Kempton Park, getting together for the second time sharing in one common goal.

For too long we have been kept apart even after the dawn of our new democracy. It is time to re-unite and embrace our cultural differences. Yes this country has its faults and problems, but the positives far outweigh the negatives and show us that this country has something worth staying for. Isn’t it special when you arrive after a long flight at OR Tambo International and the Immigration Officer says to you, “Welcome Home Sissy”!  No country in the world is as colourful as ours!

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