I'll never forget the energy of his excitement. He was filled with joy all day but he was patient. He waited till after 7pm when the lines slowed up, walked over to the hall down the street puffing his cigarette. I asked him who he voted for and he told me with the biggest smile on his face. The image of his face with the radio behind him will never leave me.
Some time after Mandela's Inauguration. I had an intense conversation with him about the future of South Africa. I argued surely 30 years from now, we'll be even with white people. Meaning we will all be able to have similar things. In my head I expected to be able to live in Nahoon, East London. Have one of those double story properties on the hills. Man I loved the houses there. I even drove around mentally noting houses I liked and may own someday. He took a few moments to reply. Listening somewhat distractedly to my naïve outlook on things. This is when I started to see a look of despondency on his face. So I decided to shut up.
He replied, "Thirty years is very little time my boy. I think it will take at least three generations. Your grandchildren may be able to have everything white people have." I didn't believe him. I thought he was just being closed-minded.
"Yoh! That's a long time. That's like a hundred years. I'll be dead"
"More," he replied.
As I age I begin to understand why he said what he said.
Change is not something that comes easy. You have to make a big effort.
Try something simple. If you keep your wallet in your back pocket. Try moving it to a front pocket and vice-versa. See how long it takes to get comfortable with that small change.
A mindset is a hundred times harder.
The mindset of a whole race? Most of who don't even believe there's problem. One might say it's impossible.
My father knew this then.
#TryHarder #BeBrave #SeekHelp #ImListening #Listen to #understand. It won't be #easy. But it'll be #WorthIt