South Africa is a country of stark differences and a turmoiled past. We have grown to take pride in the steps we have taken as a country to learn from past mistakes and difficult circumstances. The echoes of apartheid can still be seen in some suburbs around the country, where the developed and developing communities still stand side by side. This photograph, taken by Johnny Miller, a Cape Town based photographer, which is the cover of Times’ May 13th 2019 issue, shows, an aerial perspective of a suburb in Johannesburg. As you can see the lines of wealth are closer but not blurred and this gives us a great opportunity to ask ourselves questions on what wealth truly is.
Which side is more successful? Is one side happier than the other? I truly believe the more you have the more you have to worry about, and it is through our communities that we become a whole. Perhaps living closer to each other, in smaller homes is what we should be working towards. These types of communities have a smaller carbon footprint, they know each other and trust each other with their children, communities who eat together, dance together and sing together are shown to have a fulfilled and enriched life. Where the fulfillment and enrichment develop from involving yourself in a community and becoming part of something bigger than yourself. Buddhists believe the following: “Sound health is the greatest of gifts; contentedness, the greatest of riches; trust, the greatest of qualities enlightenment, the greatest happiness”. Perhaps it’s our perspective on a picture like this that needs to be altered, and we should for once, decide which community we would like to live in, and which parts of each life we feel more drawn to.
Volunteering allows us all to live a simpler and more fulfilled life, where we can live within communities, give of ourselves, and become part of a greater social whole. And it is through giving of ourselves that we truly find who we are and what it is that is important to us.
The Good Hope Volunteer Team
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