It is only through disciplined practice that an artist or musician can attain freedom of expression…what we might call mastery. Behaviour is much the same. Without responsibility, freedom is impossible. If we all behaved in a responsible manner, external laws and controls on us would not be necessary.
We hear so many calls for freedom these days. Some parties call for “economic freedom” for all people. Others call for free markets without government control. But where are the calls for responsibility? We would be wiser to first call for responsibility, because only responsible actions will allow us the space to have real freedom.
It is no co-incidence that we have become a nation plagued by poverty, unemployment, inequality, crime, violence etc. Apartheid and centuries of colonialism and racism left us with a legacy of inequality that we have failed to address. It is becoming increasingly clear that freedom without responsibility is not possible: Our poor are trapped in a cycle of poverty and squalor, and the rest live in walled prisons behind burglar bars, too afraid to walk the streets at night. Poverty and ever increasing inequality have reached the point where revolution seems increasingly inevitable.
Fortunately, its not too late to change things for the better and to heal and build our great nation. Our beautiful people are so truly powerful, there is no limit to what we will achieve once we get our values straight.
How we value something is reflected in how we reward each other for it. It is wise to ensure that work is rewarded according to the quality of the work, the difficulty of the task, how much time and effort is expended, how dangerous it is, and the value that that work adds to a product or company and society in general. In rewarding adaquately, we demonstrate the true value of hard work, and we encourage quality people to do the kinds of work that would most benefit our country, our society, our companies and our people. However, because we have lost our values and use the market as an excuse, most employers reward people according to how desperate their workers are for work and money…the more desperate our workers are, the less we reward them, regardless of the quality of their work or value added.
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