2014! Happy New Year!
Who else of my fellow South Africans felt that immense surge of energy at the beginning of 2014, that determination to make this the best year ever, to do whatever it takes?
Yes – everyone I spoke to experienced this.
Despite E-tolls being implemented in December (the public is resisting with all it has without resorting to illegalities).
There was an upsurge in the economy. There was optimism, everyone put in that extra mile, that extra shove of hard work, and voila! the economy took a breather and started recovering.
Along come the Media with their pessimistic headlines.
We all know that Eskom puts up their rates yearly.
We all know that Africa has inflation. (Heck, which country doesn’t?)
We all know that when those bank interest rates soar, especially the poor and the elderly suffer. Yea, yea, we know this.
What is the antidote?
To work harder if you’re a working-class, business or working-generation person. To create a better economy.
And you do that with optimism.
Don’t get me wrong, I think the “Positive Brigade” is indeed a big lot of lying bastards. That’s what’s known as false positivity and the results it gets are disappointment, distrust and the feeling of being cheated.
No, things won’t suddenly be smooth just because I say so. Bad stuff won’t go away just because I say it’s not so. And I cannot psychically influence the world to change its shape just because, hey, I’m Positive! That’s total magical thinking and BS to the first degree. And it’s dangerous BS because it blocks the way to genuine optimism – which is the art of working on something with a good attitude until it works, or leaving impossible projects and trying something new.
The Positive Brigade says, if you failed to sell something it’s because you weren’t positive enough. Optimism is the attitude of trying it, giving it the best of all your hard work, but if you see it’s not working, leaving it for something that will actually be more beneficial. That’s not “being negative”: that’s being a realistic, rational optimist. (Being negative would be not trying, and if something fails, not turning to something new but instead bewailing the thing that failed. Flogging dead horses is the realm of the Positive Brigade and the Unteachable.)
But if a whole country falls into optimism, bears up, starts putting in the extra effort, that gets results!
The media with their dire headlines and the banks with their massive increase in prime rate killed that.
This leads me to only one conclusion:
South Africa is not allowed to recover economically.
If the Rand stabilizes, then our overseas “trade partners” can’t have their goods as cheaply. South Africa is being sold out to “overseas trade”.
A whole people with mothers, fathers, children, young men and women, lovers, grandparents, babies – is sold out to some invisible rich guys “overseas”. Our pensioners are being left to die of hunger so that some fat cats can get fatter. Our poor have to wait longer for long-promised-and-never-kept housing and sanitation, so that some Rich Guy can get even richer.
South Africa, will you allow this to happen?
Just like our people are resisting E-tolls and baulking against the concept of Nkandla for the “king” who parades at being president, let us stand together against this wave of deliberate pessimism and show them.
Small business is what is keeping South Africa going financially. The initiative of the individual.
Let us show them that they cannot kill us off! Let us show them that we have too much spirit for this!
Let’s make 2014 the best year ANYWAY!
10 Things to do this year:
- Use cash not banking, as much as you can.
- Draw up a business plan and work hard to make it work for you.
- If you haven’t yet, diversify.
- Ignore the media. Write your own blog. Blogging is the most honest form of journalism. (Not necessarily the most accurate but definitely the most honest).
- Help a friend / brother / stranger.
- Engage in cultural activities and celebrations – why? Because if they cannot destroy your culture, they cannot destroy your spirit. (And hey – I’m talking to you too, fellow Whiteys!!)
- Make sure your children’s education is properly balanced between academics, sport and culture. Many schools forget to teach the latter… (why do you think Art, Music and Drama have been fused into a single subject? They’re trying to rob us of our identities!)
- Educate yourself about money, spending, budgeting.
- Draw up a budget and stick to it.
- And work as though it will all work exactly as you plan it.
A very coarse money plan that may be worked into a finer budget:
10% savings of everything you get in
20% for debt repayments
70% to live on.
If you can keep that up for a year, it should take you into a much stronger position for next year. If all of us do this (instead of shopping on credit), the internal economy must necessarily become stronger. At least, the economy that concerns us… not the with-our-money-gambling, OPM-leveraging, OPM- speculating, interest-rate-increasing Moneysquitoes.
(FYI – OPM is “other people’s money”. All Moneysquito fortunes are built on two things : OPT and OPM. Other people’s time and other people’s money.)