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Aug 2016


For worse … or for better?

Picture: Quote: Steven Covey: Leave the world a better place

The senseless killing we have seen over the last couple of years seems to be getting worse and worse. Now anyone (even teenagers) with one or other ideology or grievance and a gun, knife or explosives seems to think it’s okay to follow these “acts of terror” examples that are being set by groups and lone wolves. I can’t predict the future, but I fear it’s going to get much, much worse before we see an end to it. I don’t think there’s an instant solution. Even world leaders are at a loss as to what to do.

As unfortunate and worrying as this situation is, it needs to be put into perspective. The reality is that, in spite of the horror, these attacks remain isolated and involve the killing of a few people, not unlike lightning strikes. Without in any way downplaying or ignoring the pain suffered by the families and friends of those affected, I have to say that the way the media report on these events, you’d think we’re dealing with hurricane Katrina, which, by the way, caused hundreds of deaths and untold destruction. I’m not an advocate of SABC-like censorship, but some “breaking news” broadcasts tend to distort our perception of reality and significance. Another example in this category are air crashes. The number of deaths caused there pales into insignificance when compared to the approximately 3,500 people killed daily, worldwide, on our roads [1]. That reality isn’t making the headlines often enough, which says to me that we have just grown to accept that this is the way it has to be.

I don’t believe there are magical solutions to any of these problems. However, I am a strong believer in concentrating on your circle of influence, rather than your circle of concern [2]. So, my link to safety is this: Let’s not spend too much time pondering and discussing what we can’t change. Rather, let’s focus on the “everyday” mass killers – the road accidents and fatigue, HIV/AIDS, TB, diabetes, malaria, stress and depression (suicides), and the like. These are wellness issues where we can make a difference, right now. With the right life skills training at schools, I’m confident that we can re-establish a culture of tolerance amongst our children. Let this be our “new normal”.


This month, look into how much effort, time and money you are directing towards wellness education at your company and in your community. A little can go a long way to making a real difference and showing that you care. It’s also well within your circle of influence and nothing is stopping you from spending a good portion of your budget on wellness [3].

[1]  “Number of road traffic deaths”, WHO 2013 GHO Data.
[2]  “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People”, Steven Covey.
[3]  Green Card (recognition) goes out to Assmang Khumani Mine (and Susan Fourie in particular), for doing just that with their Peer Educator’s TB play.
[Picture]  Source:


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