On the good, the bad, and the light

December 7, 2018

Dear Max and Rebecca

We have a week and a half to go until we leave for holiday, when every day is gin ‘o clock, and where work eases, and I can spend more time reading, hanging out with you and trying to avoid the beach (the sand – it’s not my best!).

South Africa is a confusing place for me at the moment. I’m semi envious at people who are emigrating, and I’m trying to hold up the optimism, which is something I’ve pretty much always had. Things are making me sad(der), and while everything in our lives is TG going well, I’m still pulled down by the fear.

I know that for every crapola/awful/tragic thing, there are many good things. Take this incident, for example. A few weeks ago, our nanny Mellisa was robbed at gunpoint of R16 000, which she was going to use as a downpayment for some property she wants to buy as an investment for her kids.

Why did she have all that cash on her? Suffice to say, it wasn’t owing to negligence or carelessness.

I thought about starting a crowdfunder page, and asked Facebook (who else?) if something like this was worth doing, as it didn’t quite compare with people needing life-saving surgeries etc.

The response was good, so I set up a page, set the ball rolling, and the kindness flowed. If we got a few thousand, that would have been incredible, but within five days, the full amount had been donated. Each time someone donated, we got a little emotional, and it was incredible how people literally came to the party, to help someone they only know of through my writing.

It’s hard to see the light sometimes, and I understand why. Sometimes the conditions are really bad, or sometimes you’re clinically unwell and struggle to see it. This isn’t a lecture about how one always needs to look for the good – it’s really simplistic, even though the act forces us to be reminded of the positives so that they overshadow (or is that, overlight) the negative.

The point here is that some people are so wonderful. And I’ll try to make that my theme song. I’ll try.



PS: If you’re reading this and helped Mellisa, whether it was with a donation or sharing of the campaign, a huge thank you!


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