Building Our Nation Through Connection
Updated: Oct 3, 2019
by Rio Matlhaku
South Africans of all hues celebrate Heritage Day on the 24th September each year and the month is regarded as Heritage Month. The idea of embracing and celebrating one another’s diversity is founded on encouraging and forging a sense of connection amongst South Africans from various cultures, different races and religions.
It was the founding father of our nation, Nelson Mandela who worked tirelessly to knit together a society that found common ground in a shared history. Mandela also showed the way by making connections with South Africans who in the past were regarded as his enemies.
Our work at Shine is built around helping individuals, companies and institutions to find ways to make a connection with ourselves, colleagues and other stakeholders. Shine prides itself through focusing on helping create healthy working relationships.
It is through relationships that a society can make an effort at creating deep and meaningful connections. It is common cause that we live in a country whose history was exemplified by division, mistrust and institutionalised separation. As a result, South Africans never got a chance to get connected, to get to know one another and understand and appreciate each other’s views and diversity.
According to Psychology Today, being connected means feeling in touch with someone we care about and who in turn cares about us. It is when we get a feeling that we are not being paid attention to that we feel disconnected. Furthermore, Psychology Today argues that we feel the need to be connected in times of physical or emotional difficulties. In the past, we missed out on reaching across the divide in forming relationships and getting connected to our fellow South Africans. Prior to this we lived our lives connected to a very small circle of people as the environment did not allow us to reach out to a wider circle. The effect of this was that not only could we not get to know our countrymen, but a greater loss was the chance to build a vibrant, resilient and thriving society. Gladly this is a situation which has markedly improved in the last 2 decades, and we need to continue building on this.