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Beautiful acts of defiance

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In these times of food, and other shortages, being invited out to dinner is a real celebration of community spirit. Breaking bread with friends has always been special but right now in Zimbabwe it takes on even more significance. Last night I shared a delicious roast chicken with some friends. Amidst the doom and gloom in which we’re living, I mentioned that gatherings such as the one we were having should be seen as beautiful acts of defiance, and of strong spirit.

My host suggested two reasons as to why we are in such a bad state in Zimbabwe. First, he cited a lack of leadership. Not only on the part of incumbent politicians but also on the part of those politicians waiting in the wings; waiting for power. And most importantly, he also mentioned you and me – us; contributing to the lack of leadership. How do we apply creative leadership in our families, our relationships, our schools, our companies – our every day lives? Yes, there’s an amazing amount of leadership in terms of “survival” but how much effort are we making in the area of solution?

His other suggestion for our collective national disaster is that most change occurs through Hope, and not through Despair. So if we are waiting for the “peasants” to rise up because full scale starvation has set in then we’ll be waiting for quite some time. He said that most often poor, starving people don’t rise up, they quietly die.

As I sit here this morning contemplating how to be usefully and creatively involved in working for Zimbabwe’s rehabilitation I smell fuel on my hands. Not even Marks and Spencer’s Olive Green body butter can mask the smell! My early morning was spent siphoning fuel so I could make a trip to the airport. And it got me thinking about how we, all of us (Mr Tsvangirai as well), can ignite our imagination and frame our future and our actions in hope, rather than despair.

A wild patience can take us only so far.

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