My Inspirational Women

My Inspirational Women

August is women’s month in South Africa and there is a very good reason why women get a month for society to reflect on how important they are in our society.

I am sometimes horrified by the way women are treated in this country. Gender-based violence has become a pandemic of epic proportions and yet we sit back and hardly do anything about it. A few weeks ago, a 14-year-old boy shot a girl because she did not react the way he wanted her to react to his advances. What has happened to our society that fathers don’t teach their sons to treat girls with respect?

Fortunately, I went to a school where we were taught to stand up when a woman walks into the room. My sons go to the same school, and I can see that the tradition is still very much alive. The one thing I have realized is that many people take their kids to specific schools, and they hope that the school will teach them manners. Discipline starts at home and not at school.

There are few problems that create this lack of respect for women. Firstly, we have absent fathers which is probably the biggest problem. Fathers must work far away from home, and that can affect boys badly as boys need a father figure in their life. Secondly, I feel that the moral fiber of society is slowly eroded by a small minority of people who demand to have their voices heard and their needs be accepted. Evil prevails when good people do nothing and therefore it is important for us as men to stand up literally and figuratively for the right of women.

OK so that was me venting. I want to talk about two women that really inspired and still inspire me.

  • I think most people will always say that their mother was the person that inspired them but, in my case, it is truly profound. We lived in Zambia and my mother had the guts to send all three her boys to a school 3500 km away from a very young age. The word selfless doesn’t even closely describe what my parents did but specifically my mom. My son was 14 and it was hard for me to send him 80 km away to Paarl Boys High. I cannot think what my mother went through when we were away for six months at a time, but I can tell you that it affected her health. She sadly passed away at the age of 72.
  • The second wonder woman is my wife and again it goes without saying that you look up to your wife. In my case I look at things a bit differently and I would like to explain why. Justine comes from an incredible family where everybody is always welcome and where there is always food for everybody. This is despite that fact that they didn’t have a lot of money, but they always made time and space for people in their home. Those warm, strong character traits that her parents displayed has been transferred and she brings that warmth and homeliness to our home. Nothing can take that away from her and that’s why I respect her.

One of my friends sadly lost his wife earlier this year and my heart breaks to think that their two boys will have to grow up without a mother.

Be grateful and tell your wife or mother that you love them and appreciate them. You never know how long you will have them in your life.

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