Going Beyond Madiba's 67 Minutes

Hi folks,
I have just spent 30 mins. reading the latest newsletter from “Stop crime….say Hello”. http://ss14.gmsend.com/sendlink.asp?HitID=1311935175702&StID=5647&SID=14&NID=281725&EmID=2314298&Link=aHR0cDovL3d3dy5zYXloZWxsby5jby56YS8%3D&token=19432676a442b2e44c40db2df4b7ec9a0e6cd994 www.sayhello.co.za
Justin Foxton has done some sterling work in improving the website and there are several interesting things to explore and look at.
The one that I really enjoyed this afternoon was “The Wall” and I encourage you to at least look at that if you don’t have time to explore the rest. I’d also ask you to encourage your HG members to have a look at this site. The reference to the large amount of negativity that is spoken in our social circles etc. prompted me to find the attached verse:
“The good man brings good things out of the good stored in his heart and
the evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored in his heart.
For out of the overflow of his heart, his mouth speaks.”
Luke 6:45
Let’s always be mindful of the need to guard our tongues.
Love from
Gary
From: Stop Crime…Say Hello [mailto:justin@scsh.co.za] Sent: 29 July 2011 12:28 PM To: justjones@absamail.co.za Subject: Going Beyond Madiba’s 67 Minutes
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This article first appeared in The Mercury on 25th July 2011
The 67 minute campaign on Madiba’s birthday invites all of us to look deep within ourselves and ask a very uncomfortable question: do we really give a damn?
Do we give a damn about the poor – really? Do we give enough of a damn to spend 67 minutes feeding them, perhaps touching them, walking in their often non-existent shoes; parting with our time, money and other resources?
Do we care about our nation’s needy children? Do we care enough to stop hypothesizing and theorizing for just 67 minutes, and actually get out there and spend time feeding them, clothing them and loving them?
And how do we really feel about people lying lonely and afraid in overcrowded hospitals? Do we care enough to visit them and brighten their day with a gift or even just a hand held, or is it good enough for us just to carry on bemoaning the state of health care in our country?
What about our environment? We all hate to see the pollution, litter and general decay. Yet do we give enough of a damn to go out and clean up our street, paint a wall or get rid of some graffiti?
The 67 minute campaign asks us if we are as proficient at being part of the solution as we are at pointing out the problem. This is why the 18th of July is becoming a day which unsettles us just a little bit. It is becoming a day that places a finger on a pressure point and gently squeezes.
The reason for this is that one of Madiba’s most admirable qualities is that he didn’t blame anyone for what was wrong without working to provide a solution. A deep desire for such integrity exists in most if not all of us, hence the universal love and admiration for this man. The 67 minute campaign challenges us as to whether or not we will choose to live with such integrity.
It asks us if we are willing to be doers as well as talkers. It is easy, for example, to have an opinion on how to eradicate poverty. Education, education, education, is a pet mantra for many of us. However, good theories on education, albeit right, do not fill the stomach of a starving person today. They do not warm a child freezing on a street corner today. They do not comfort a destitute man standing begging today.
The campaign demands that on at least one day of the year, we stop making excuses for our apathy. What is yours I wonder? “Charity begins at home,” or perhaps; “what good will my giving do?” I am embarrassed to admit that when apathy creeps in I resort to everyone’s favourite excuse: “Well, we do our bit anyway.”
But this isn’t about ‘doing our bit’. It also isn’t about having to make excuses, or feeling ‘guilted’ into action. It’s about a fundamental change in how we view the world around us. It’s about recognizing that in order to live the life we wish for us and our children, we have to – by absolute necessity – work consistently to improve the communities in which we live. Not just on one day – all year round. It is about agreeing that our prophesies of doom-and-gloom will almost certainly come true unless each of us participate in the solution.
And finally, our giving must benefit those in need but as I have written before, giving benefits us in return.
If you gave 67 minutes to improving your community last Monday, you will know the joy that that gave you. You will also know that a shift took place in you and that in some small yet profoundly meaningful way you will never be the same again.
Something happened in you when that abandoned baby nestled into your neck as you held her. Something changed forever when you handed a plate of warm food to a homeless man and saw the look of disbelieving gratitude on his face. You will never be the same again having seen the tears streaming down the face of the dying woman as you handed her a flower from your garden.
You will know from experience that the more you give the more you want to give. This is because giving provides the answer to the very deepest cry of our hearts; the cry for our lives to have meaning and purpose beyond our own comfort and safety.
Flipside tip of the week:
The 67 minute campaign should be seen as symbolic rather than an end in itself. Let us view it as a start point. Let us take it as a call to action to participate regularly; weekly or even daily – not just annually – in the healing of our communities.
For more on how to get involved go to
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