Stumped with Blood Flowing from My Face!

Yeah! Maybe I did get your attention?

Fellow Bloggers, sometimes I am sure you get to a place where you have so much to write about but nothing wants to come out. It is like Word constipation!

I want to write about consumers being ripped off, people writing nasty e-mails because they received a notification from me about an upcoming workshop – showing clearly that they do not understand the concept of organizational nor individual reputation, environmental disasters near my doorstep….well only 15 km away…(Typically the mining groups like the ciggarette manufacturers are pleading the legacy of the past – i.e.Publicly admitting that they did not do enough issue management and foreward environmental scanning).

On the other hand, having a drive by shooting , 500 m away from my home this past Sunday with 3 fatalities is not exactly the Batho Pele that the South African Government speaks about. I work with Government people and there are a lot of dedicated folks out there, but I often wonder if the real powers really understand the concepts of system thinking.

I wonder how many of them have read Malcolm Gladwell’s "Tipping Point". I often wonder how many PR and other change agents have read this important text. They have probably just walked by it – because it is just a paperback.

This little paperback have taught me more about PR & social marketing campaigns than many official training interventions. What makes it so powerful?

Well, it’s a book about change. In particular, it’s a book that presents a new way of understanding why change so often happens as quickly and as unexpectedly as it does. For example, why did crime drop so dramatically in New York City in the mid-1990’s? How does a novel written by an unknown author end up as national bestseller? Why do teens smoke in greater and greater numbers, when every single person in the country knows that cigarettes kill? Why is word-of-mouth so powerful?

I think the answer to all those questions is the same. It’s that ideas and behavior and messages and products sometimes behave just like outbreaks of infectious disease. They are social epidemics. The Tipping Point is an examination of the social epidemics that surround us.

I hate to believe that the social epidemic in South Africa is one of acceptance. But often I speak to people and they say: " I am so glad that they just took my car, and not my life!"

So, is Crime and the Web 2 – Facebook and the like, a new social epidemic? When will will South Africans, Business and particular political decision-makers wake up and smell the roses about crime?

When will they stop trying to defend it with statistical information? Don’t they know the Power of One? If Madiba can make a difference, if Jake White(The South African Rugby Coach) and the South African Rugby team can make a difference, do we really need a TIPPING POINT moment in South Africa where people will have to lose their lives?

There I said it again! It is time for decisionmakers to fall from grace and realise the impact of their decisions.

For 13 years I have been silent on this matter. During this time, we were broken into more than 10 times and my family were held up in my own home, necessitating that all three of them needed counseling. Now we have a shooting close to us. What do I do now?

What do I do as a father, when a grown-up child says, Dad you care more about your career and clients tahn us? Is that the legacy that I want to write? Do I adopt Malcolm X’s quote? "Obey the law, be kind to all mankind, respect your father and mother, but if a man lays his hand on you or your family, send him to the cemetery!

Where to now? Am I angry? Yes, I am! As a South African I have a right to Safety and Peace.

So there! I had nothing to write about! Yet, I did – an outpouring of the heart!

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