Goodbye, 2016. We really tried

Every Hlaudi has a silver lining: Say goodbye to nasty 2016 and smile like Mr Sunshine Journalism. (Felix Dlangamandla/Beeld/Gallo)

Every Hlaudi has a silver lining: Say goodbye to nasty 2016 and smile like Mr Sunshine Journalism. (Felix Dlangamandla/Beeld/Gallo)

As an exhausting year finally winds to a close, it’s only human to grope around for meaning and comfort. In the spirit of salvaging some inspiration from 2016, let us muse upon the significance of motivational quotes from the holy text of Facebook.

Let go and let God: Breathe in. Breathe out.
Let go. Let God. Let one of God’s envoys on Earth spray you in the face with a can of poisonous insecticide. Feel the burn. Embrace the burn. While your eyes well up and your choking nausea takes hold, remember this: the mosquitoes will not take your face blood today. Not today, Satan.

You are not stuck in traffic, you are traffic: Chant this to yourself in Christmas traffic jams. It is beautiful and true. It can be adapted to many other stressful situations while maintaining its beautiful truth. You are not stuck at home affairs, you are home affairs. You are not queuing to buy Justin Bieber tickets, you are Justin Bieber tickets. Also, let go and let God.

You did not wake up today to be mediocre: This powerful insight is why I frequently do not get out of bed for days at a time. It is also why half of Parliament was constantly asleep on their benches this year. We should applaud these sleepist MPs and their proud rejection of wakeful mediocrity.

Work is love made visible: If you hate your boss this is why you shouldn’t put your back into things, in case he or she gets the wrong idea and hauls you before HR. Love should be reserved for special occasions between consenting adults. This quote also reads like it could be welded in wrought iron on the gates of Auschwitz, but in fact is stitched on to the backs of the prison overalls worn by waiters at Primi Piatti.

You can’t have a million-dollar dream with a minimum-wage work ethic: Yet, as leftie economists and unionists in South Africa discovered this year, you also can’t have a minimum-wage dream even with a million-dollar work ethic.

The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step: This is as true for national carriers as it is for pedestrians. If SAA cannot continue to service its billion-rand debt, it will shortly be inviting all customers to begin all thousand-mile journeys with a single step. And then just keep stepping until you reach your destination. Remember, too, that the journey is the destination.

It is better to live for one day as a lion than for 1 000 years as a sheep: This is the mantra by which Penny Sparrow, Matthew Theunissen and all the other Facebook racists live. Sure, you’ll get the pants sued off you by the ANC and the Democratic Alliance, and the Human Rights Commission will give you detention and strangers will send you threatening WhatsApps, but the point is that, dammit, you’ve lived. You’ve had your say. You’re not like all the other sheeple trying to play nice and avoid a revolution. Take a bow, lions.

Teachers open the door but you must enter by yourself: The department of basic education has revealed an admirable commitment to this principle by simply not having any doors in some schools. Or teachers. Furthermore, when God closes a door He opens a window, so even when there are doors, it’s always possible to escape in the event of a fire.

Turn your face to the sunshine and you cannot see the shadow: This is what journalists at SABC and ANN7 chant in their morning news meetings. Every Hlaudi has a silver lining. Even a ratings downgrade doesn’t have to spell glum tidings, because it means nobody has to try so hard any more. Remember, journalism is love made visible.

Be somebody nobody thought you could be: The single greatest embodiment of this affirmation is Donald Trump. He mouths it to himself in the mirror every morning while applying his wig. Who’d’ve thunk that tiny-handed prankster could become the leader of the free world? Donald, that’s who. If you can dream it, you can become it. I dream of being a lion, or a door.

When you feel like quitting, think about why you started: You think Jacob Zuma hasn’t thought about quitting? Of course he has. Being president is a total ball-ache. Everyone’s always scrutinising your offhand comments for sexist meaning and people get all hectic and weird when you impregnate women. It’s a total snore. But you stick with it. Why? Because you need immunity against future criminal prosecution, that’s why. Because you need to build up Nkandla like one of Michael Jackson’s theme parks before you retire. Because leadership is a calling.

Mistakes are proof that you’re trying: It’s possible to look at this another way, of course. It’s possible to say that mistakes are proof that you are hopelessly incompetent and should be removed from your duties. That’s not what we’re about. So what that the Springboks haven’t won a game for seventy hundred years? Just look at their little faces after a game. They’re trying. We’re all trying. And 2016 has been the most trying of all.

Rebecca Davis

Rebecca Davis

Rebecca Davis has a master’s in English literature from Rhodes and a master’s in linguistics from Oxford University, UK. After a stint at the Oxford English Dictionary, she returned to South Africa, where she has been writing stories and columns for various publications, including the M&G. Her first book, Best White (And Other Anxious Delusions), came out in 2015. Read more from Rebecca Davis

Client Media Releases

UKZN School of Engineering celebrates accreditation from ECSA
MTN celebrates 25 years of enhancing lives through superior network connectivity
Financial services businesses focus on CX