Wednesday, 1 January 2014

All I want for 2014.

It was in the last few hours of 2012...

I was recovering from the festive excesses and fooling myself that I had discovered a new wind and 2013 was going to be my year. I opened up my laptop and began tinkering with several blogging ideas. Some friends had given me some unwelcome feedback and I thought it would be nice to convince them I actually valued their opinion. They were right of course...I should post articles more often....I should be less attracts more readers.

In that spirit, I came up with what I believed would be a more user-friendly post. 7 Sistas to watch in 2013 was my humble attempt to not only recognise deserving talent within the black community, but it was also evidence of my determination to highlight its persistently unrecognised female demographic. I had also selfishly hoped the individuals on the list would repay me when their deserved credit arrived (never happened).

A friend who had gone through the list called about a week after publication.

"Wow, I didn't even know half of the people on that list. Laura Mvula? You really think she will be big in 2013? Well, I hope so for your sake. You are going to look pretty silly otherwise!"

It was clear he didn't understand the psyche of the average blogger. Yes, we have a section of us who crave validation and would do anything for a 'like' or approving comment, but in the main, we are a confident bunch (actually, make that arrogant bunch).

How else can you describe individuals who have a resolute belief that the public out there, are really interested in their views. Narcissism, I guess, is the underlying requisite trait.

Me? I belong to the hardcore of the group. Somewhere within my Medulla Oblongata, a superciliousness exists. A delusion of grandeur that makes me think I am a literary prophet. I stubbornly reject the notion that copious feedback is evidence of blogging talent. My gratification is strictly derived from publication, hence my inability to accept my limited comprehension of the blogging medium. I truly believe I tell people what is coming....whether they choose to embrace it, is not my concern.

In any case, as old dogs cannot (or will not) learn new tricks, I have decided to follow in my tiresome and redundant tradition, by sharing a list for 2014.

This time, I have relented and accepted my 2013 list was not sufficiently inclusive. Apparently, things have moved on and writers are not expected to focus on their race, religion, creed or nationality to the exclusion of others. We are expected to be more inviting and willing to reach out to a wider audience. We should be less racist, less homophobic, less sexist and hopefully less conceited. Well, 3 out of 4 is not bad....

2013 was a challenging one for me. I lost a good friend and a fortune, but then I gained wisdom and fortitude. It is mandatory for me to look forward if improvement is the ambition.

So here we go....the 5 things I want in 2014:

1. That post-Mandela, the ANC would finally accept it has been an indolent child of an over-protective father and the time for change has come. In what can only be described as their best chance to prove their detractors wrong and show the global community their maturity, the party of Mandela, Sisulu, Tambo and Zuma, failed abysmally. The lowest moment of course, was their denial of the inept sign language interpreter, who was later exposed as an ever-present member of their long-running charade. Apparently, he suffered a 'spiritual attack,' at the crucial moment. Let's hope the ANC doesn't experience same.

2. That the world would irrespectively of belief, embrace the current Pope. It has been a while since we had a 'Mother Theresa' figure and the world is in dire need of goodness. Yes, the body he leads might have its problems, but the humble Argentine has been all-embracing and all-inclusive. He deserves a collective pat on the back.

3. That worthy political leaders would emerge across the world. Everywhere you look, we are surrounded by ineffectual, maladroit frontmen (and women), pretending to deserve followership. They stumble miserably towards an election date, promising everything from prosperity to peace and then deliver the exact opposite. As an aside, as someone who resides in the United Kingdom, I do not believe I have seen a worse advert for privileged or elitist education, than this latest brigade of cowboys in Westminster. Enough said.

4. That we, the public, don't allow the media to determine what global events we pay attention to. Some of us are so bereft of world event knowledge, we don't seem to realise there is still a war going on in Syria, that there is still unspeakable crisis in a 'free' Libya and more importantly, there is a scary water crisis that the Rupert Murdochs of this world don't want us to discuss. Their hope is for us to focus on oil, diamonds and other natural resources, but I am not aware of any period in history when man drank black gold for sustenance.

5. Finally, that human beings resist the lunge towards prestige. You are not a better person because you belong to an elite mob. In truth, ala Groucho Marx, you shouldn't really want to be part of a collective that invites you. Focus more on doing good deeds for the world and not a select few. If you seriously want to help the world, do it because it emanates from your heart and not because of a national honour that lies in wait. If we learnt anything in the last year or so, it's that recognition does not equate worthiness. The Queen knighted Jimmy Saville and look how that turned out!

Happy 2014 people.....may the year bring you all you deserve.

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