“The greatness of a community is most accurately measured by the compassion of its members.” – Coretta Scott King
In celebration of Mandela Day this year, a special day that takes place annually on the 18th of July (Nelson Mandela’s birthday), we welcomed motivational speaker Robert Zwane to our Johannesburg office. He talked to our team about becoming and staying motivated at work, and how we can get the financial professions back on track by reinstating humility and humanity.
Zwane explained how, due to our busy schedules, many professional people today have lost their sense of humility and humanity; we simply go about our daily lives, eyes and ears shut to those who may be in need. This is not anyone’s fault but is simply a consequence of modern society. His overall message was that we alone have the power and opportunity to change this – and we can do this through even the simplest acts of kindness, even in our immediate surrounds.
To encourage the MMS team to give back to the community in their own way, our offices closed 67 minutes earlier to allow staff members to conduct their 67 minutes of kindness for the day. Staff members went about giving back to the community in a way that is special to them and some members even made donations of food and other household items to local charities.
Tiana Kluyts, one of our directors, delivered a short welcome speech:
Her speech involved a lemon and she handed out a lemon to everyone to illustrate her point. The lemon presents a problem encountered in our daily lives. On its own, a lemon is not an enjoyable fruit, and most people are not likely to eat it as is. If you, however, use the lemon for a specific purpose, like using it to clean, with tequila, to make lemonade, to bake, to add to tea, to make detox water, to add flavouring to food, or any of the other purposes lemons are useful for, you are using it creatively and productively. If, however, you do not use it, it will eventually become old and grow mould, which will make it unusable.
The moral of Tiana’s story is that if you see the problems that life throws at you as lemons, you can do one of two things. You can either decide to see the problem as an opportunity to make something else better out of it, to grow, or you can simply see the problem for what it is and let it become worse over time without trying to solve it.
Every problem you face should be seen as an opportunity to become a better person, by learning from it, growing from it, and seeing the positive results yielded from handling the situation to the best of your abilities, and not letting it get you down and depressed because of it.
If you don’t face your problems and try to make the best of what you have, the situation will get worse and you might end up with a bigger mess than what it started out to be – just as with a lemon.