Sunél’s Blog | Leave…or make a positive contribution

Sunél Veldtman, | 18 October 2019

This year an already depressed sentiment about the prospects of our country plunged to new depths. For some, anything from a potential IMF bailout to the NHI or the credit downgrade have been rational reasons for negativity. They are indeed reasons for concern, but it doesn’t necessitate that every real and social media conversation dive into the depths of despair.

In fact, if this is you and you continuously complain about the government, our country or the lack of a future for your children, you have one of two rational choices: leave or change your attitude and make a positive contribution.

Before you stop reading, know that I am not saying you should stop having occasional debates about our politics, or that you should make this conscious choice for the benefit of those who love the African soil. You should choose to leave or choose to make a positive contribution for yourself.

If you stay in South Africa and contribute to the negativity, you’re not only contributing to the downfall of the very country in which you hope to survive and prosper, you’re probably also slowly killing yourself.

Negative thoughts kill.  Research undertaken by the University of Minnesota shows that: ‘Negative attitudes and feelings of helplessness and hopelessness can create chronic stress, which upsets the body’s hormone balance, depletes the brain chemicals required for happiness, and damages the immune system. Chronic stress can actually decrease our lifespan.’

Does it sound familiar? Helpless and hopeless?  Odds are, it sounds like most conversations today around the boardroom table or the braai. It needs to stop.

If you are staying in this country, by choice or not, or if you want it to change, you need to change. Stop the repetitious, negative thinking. Get involved somewhere. Even if the contribution is minute. People who are involved in mentoring young people, improving education or helping the homeless, testify to the upliftment they have received in their efforts to help others. It won’t just help the country, it will help you to feel less helpless and hopeless.

If you don’t make a conscious choice toward a positive contribution, you should leave. For your own good.