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Councillor’s Diary: The reason for waking up in the morning

Councillor’s Diary: The reason for waking up in the morning

I’ve got two quotes up in two of the rooms in my apartment and both are placed strategically based on what they mean to me. The first quote, the one I see just about the first thing I see in the morning is a quote by former American president, John F. Kennedy; “Let us not

I’ve got two quotes up in two of the rooms in my apartment and both are placed strategically based on what they mean to me.

The first quote, the one I see just about the first thing I see in the morning is a quote by former American president, John F. Kennedy; “Let us not seek the Republican answer or the Democratic answer, but the right answer. Let us not seek to fix the blame for the past. Let us accept our own responsibility for the future.”

While most mornings I glance past this quote without internalising its meaning, subconsciously I am aware of its message to me. Often, I pay close attention to the quote as I prepare to attend an oversight committee meeting or council meeting – in fact from the time I start getting ready to go to a caucus or spokesperson’s meeting, this is the quote I begin to internalise.

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The second quote is in my study room or what is clearly my home office if you like. It is a quote by Václav Havel, “The real test of a man is not when he plays the role that he wants for himself but when he plays the role destiny has for him.”

Let us not seek the Republican answer or the Democratic answer, but the right answer…

This is the quote that I was introduced to while reading the book, ‘Dare Not Linger’ which covers Nelson Mandela’s presidential years. I was particularly struck by it as in the context which it was first presented to me was that of a person who stepped into politics not because they wanted to be a politician; but rather they had a desire to see the world function in a certain way.

This quote in particular play a big role in me making decisions as well, even more so taking on extra tasks which may come my way.

You see, when I joined the Democratic Alliance (DA) back in early 2012, I did so because I believed in the future of South Africa. Something which remains the first thought in mind when I wake up each morning. Just as my feet encounter the rough, yet warm of the carpet in my room… I think of the South Africa I live in, compared to the South Africa I would like to live in.

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I wake up inspired by the passion and brilliance of the people I get to work with, (most of them, I have never told), I also wake thinking of the hope we can all believe in.

My first thoughts in the morning are dedicated to making the world a better place to live in. Not for me, or the possible children I will have one day; but for the people who invest their time and money in building this country. At the same time, to the people who are desperate to rise above their challenges.

I wake up inspired by the passion and brilliance of the people I get to work with…

While service delivery is on the forefront of the complaints I have to deal with; I remind myself daily that, the reason why any query is important to attend to is because, each one has to deal with human dignity.

My desire as a councillor is to bring in the public into my world, not so they can have some sort of pity on what I have to go through; but for them to see the bigger picture I have for them daily. A picture that includes a safer, cleaner and working community. I am driven daily to ensure that the right answer is made and that every person I serve has hope for the future.

It is my desire to show the world that hope is always there; even in a hopeless situation. This is what drives me out of bed each morning and throughout my days.