Ingrid Heÿdenrÿch

It’s very easy to get down in the dumps about life. Tests are everywhere, food is expensive and sometimes it’s just too easy to get mad at people.

During my conversation with Prof. Thuli Madonsela last week (read the interview on the next page), one thing stood out to me: her absolute refusal to become negative or angry at the way the world is. Instead of only blaming those around her, Prof. Madonsela saw the problems the country was and is facing as challenges. She went about solving the problems she saw and making work of it, instead of merely pointing them out.

I think this viewpoint of hers all comes down to one thing: attitude.

I know, you’re probably getting flashbacks of your LO teacher in high school telling you that with the right attitude you can accomplish anything that life throws at you.

The thing is, maybe your teacher was right. There is something extraordinary about deciding that you are going to tackle an issue head on. There are a lot of things you can’t avoid in life, things you have to do. You might as well have a positive attitude about those things.

I know, someone telling you to be positive isn’t magically going to make you be positive, but it doesn’t hurt to hear it. Of course, it’s very easy to be positive when everything is going your way. It’s also easy to forget that the people around you might be going through a tough time.

On the days where you feel your best and you want everyone around you to join in on whatever you are doing, remember the days when you were not on top of your game. Everyone has their off days, and some people have off weeks or months. Be patient with these people, because you would want them to be patient with you.

Onthou ook dat om geduld te hê met mense nie net van toepassing is as dit kom by hulle emosionele welstand nie. Dit is baie maklik om “nee” te sê vir idees of opinies wanneer dit baie ver afwyk van jou eie.

Daar is egter ongelooflike voordeel wat getrek kan word wanneer jy die moeite doen om te probeer verstaan waarvandaan mense se oortuigings kom. Nie noodwendig sodat jy daardie oortuigings kan aanneem vir jouself nie, maar sodat dit vermy kan word om vyande van almal wat nie dieselfde as jy dink te maak nie.

Dit is baie makliker om diskoers te voer as jy nie op ’n podium staan nie, maar op dieselfde vlak as die mense met wie jy wil redeneer.

Vra jouself altyd af: “Hoekom is my opinie belangriker as die persoon s’n met wie ek nie saamstem nie?”