Early this morning I drove to my head office, a laid back coffee shop in Tyger Valley Centre, Bellville. In front of me, to the right, was a bakkie with people filled up in the back. I saw faces. Stark, tense, no laughter, no laid back body language. The expressions a mix between angry and shame. They looked at me and I, I looked at them.    

Many years ago they were born with children’s eyes. Bright eyed, with an inherent longing for life. Then real life called them gradually to task. There was no caring society then. There were the shit-sure ways of political and economic greed, there is no caring society now either.

Whether Marie Antoinette historically said it, “let them eat cake” or not, it tells the essential line between the ‘have’s and the have nots’. We, upper class, or the ones succeeding to middle class sureties, we savour our personal joys, the big ones, the little ones, and we thank the stars for our secure stand in the fierce sweep of the horizons. And yes, we express clown’s care and pronounced lip service when the suffering people come uncomfortably into our eye views. We talk kindness, and more, but we do know what we do. We are trying to pacify the urging soul so that we can continue with us, we, and the curtaining of our own settled joys.

Some of us even take an easy walk into the lives of the suffering ones, but we know what we do. We are trying to feed numb agreement, acceptance to our souls, but deep down we know. The con game has many facets, politicians and self-centered business people can name most of that, but they don’t have time for shit, there is power and money to be grabbed by the know-how guys. And some dolls too.

So I saw them. The babies that became men. And now the crying is different. Silent screams in anger. And the hovering to either take a knife in hand to ease the pain, knowing it will not, but for this moment it feels like an easy redemption.

And the longing for redemption started soon after birth. But the settled world was then busy with its own agenda. It still is.

The stark-eyed guys did not react to my wave and thumb up. I understand why. Yes, me lost friends in life, I understand something from one still capable to drive a car. It was a cheap gesture.

Wim van der Walt – Bellville