I heard a lovely, true story today, which shows just how far a little respect goes. It was school’s out for the boys of Paarl High School and as they came out they filed past a bergie woman (a tramp) scavenging in the dustbin on the pavement. Being well brought up boys, with respect for others being a cornerstone of their education, they each greeted the tramp with a “Good Afternoon” as they walked by. There was no apparent reaction from the bergie until one waiting mum noticed in the lull between the surges of departing boys that the bergie walked over to an empty parked car and primped her hair in the reflection of the window. The simple act of the boys’ acknowledgement seemingly engendered an upsurge in pride in her appearance. How cool is that?
Dignity and respect are mentioned in at least two southern African countries “Visions” that I know of. Botswana and Lesotho. Could it be that this will become a worldwide phenomenon? Global civility.