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People mean Less

I’m surprised at myself sometimes.

I find my selfishness overrides my love for people. This is not good, especially for someone whose role is to maximise and develop people!

Traffic is the chief catalyst.

Johannesburg traffic is really free-flowing when compared to that in Tehran, for instance. Iranians make Joburgers – and I am proudly one – seem tame. Not in aggression or violence, mind you, but in activity.

A Tehrani street – like Vali ye Asr – is alive at 11pm every night, and a good meal only starts at 9 or 10 pm as a rule. Even doctors are open till then! But one thing stands out: people come first in Iran.

One thing we can certainly learn from them is that a person’s life is worth more than our rush. More than my need to be on time for an appointment and thus look professional. Tehran traffic stops for pedestrians, even when not at crossings. They are constantly aware of what is happening around them – they need to be, for lanes are merely a suggestion, and scooters have right-of-way, even when travelling the wrong way down a one-way street.

I’m not saying we should drive like Iranians – please! But valuing human life more than our work is a great start. Its current premium seems to be R600,00, judging by recent crimes.

I believe that one possible reason for the carnage is Empty Life Syndrome. We have Work, Home and Social lives, and the latter may be reduced by parenthood. We may think that eliminating things will give us much-needed stress-relief. Yet what we need is fulfillment, gained through indulging our talents and creative energy. Why do we lose our faith in hope? Why do we allow old shattered dreams to kill off new passionate pursuits?

It’s time to dust off the notebook and write. Time to haul out that guitar and play. Learn that language. Dance! Study! Laugh! Love! PLAY!

Decrease your stress levels by doing more of what you love doing. And, hey, be careful out there.

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