Finding Common Ground | #MyFridayStory №279

Frans Nel
3 min readFeb 24, 2023
Clayton | Pexels

It’s not easy reconciling differences when both parties have no common ground.

Last week’s story, A Call to All Resilient South Africans, caused quite a stir among readers from all walks of life. The citizens of this country are feeling the tensions rise as they try to navigate out of the dire straits we are in. The tensions stem from generations of hurt on top of 30 years of missed opportunities to address that hurt. Good people are trying to make sense of how the Rainbow Nation project has been hijacked by criminals and entitled individuals in government.

The systemic divide is set to increase if we do not halt this madness. There is no more time to delay. The national crisis we are facing with the hollowing out of the country’s infrastructure can’t be ignored or pushed aside for another day. We can’t kick this can any further down the road. We must discuss the elephant in the room. Our country is under siege by criminal syndicates that snuff out any chance of reconciliation we ever had.

It is easy to become despondent when faced with a challenge that seems insurmountable. Our default is to fall back in our old ways, them and us. Our tendency is to discount the other’s view and push harder for our own point of view. Listening to hear and make sense of the other position takes great skill and empathy. We need compassion and care. We need tolerance and a deep desire to finding common ground.

I experience in my discussions with friends and colleagues how divided and fed-up the people of this country are becoming. Our current situation is fraught with so many aspects that have not been resolved since the dawn of our democracy, creating a volatile and hostile environment. The many people of this country that voted for a government that would lead us to a unified nation have been denied their wishes. After almost 3 decades, it is difficult to accept your choice of leadership was wrong.

A few years ago, after speaking to many folks about the situation in our country, we started a group — #dialogue. We felt that if we could talk to one another about the situations we find ourselves in, we can find common ground. A platform to be heard, where you can do so safely and without been made to feel silly. Many conversations have been shared with many different points of view, all in the hope of finding a starting point. A place where we can meet each other and agree on certain facts. From there, we can experience how other people feel, to see what their lived reality looks like.

As a species, humans are extremely complex and nuanced. Finding common ground is no easy feat, even when things are going well. Add factors such as poverty, unemployment, inequality, crime, racism, injustice, lack of suitable education, failing health systems, crumbling infrastructure, and the general decay and rot setting into our lives — common ground is almost non-existent.

There is one thing this nation has at its disposal that can help turn the tide — God.

We are a highly religious lot us South Africans. For all that has been said and done in the past, today we have God to turn to as a nation. He has been our common ground since the beginning of time. In Him, we can find our voices and our reconciliation. The God-fearing people of our country are not the ones bringing down this country. It is a handful of haters that have us in the grip of their evil claws. Let us good people of South Africa not let them win.

We have a country to fix. Who’s in?

Have an awesome weekend and please be generous! 😄

As always, thanks for reading 🙏

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