I have just returned from a very blissful weekend away with some fellow school mates. I dreaded this camp so much because I thought I was going to be the only girl but it actually turned out that I was the oldest girl there with a bunch of 13y/o girls and boys and a handful of teenage boys. It was indeed a very entertaining weekend away and I thoroughly enjoyed every moment of it. Now that the fun’s all over, I have to sit down and buckle into my school books as I have a long, demanding and tedious exam period I am looking forward too.
October 2015 will sit comfortably at the top of the “young people taking action in South Africa in 2015” list. If you’re not from around here, get a drink at sit down, because you’re about to be schooled. Like South African students will not be able to next year because of fee hikes.
In South Africa this month, fee hikes for all major tertiary institutions were announced. Some of these went up to 12%. The bottom line: fees for 2016 reached a record unrealistic high that the vast majority of students would not and could never be able to pay, for various reasons. [UPDATE: Minister of Higher Education claims that fee hikes will not exceed 6% across the board. This is unrealistic as fees are not standardised at South African universities. Students still claim that the fee increase is too high.]
Now, many people have their views. Some…
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I actually attack the concept of happiness. The idea that – I don’t mind people being happy – but the idea that everything we do is part of the pursuit of happiness seems to me a really dangerous idea and has led to a contemporary disease in Western society, which is fear of sadness. It’s a really odd thing that we’re now seeing people saying “write down 3 things that made you happy today before you go to sleep”, and “cheer up” and “happiness is our birthright” and so on. We’re kind of teaching our kids that happiness is the default position – it’s rubbish. Wholeness is what we ought to be striving for and part of that is sadness, disappointment, frustration, failure; all of those things which make us who we are. Happiness and victory and fulfillment are nice little things that also happen to us, but they don’t teach us much. Everyone says we grow through pain and then as soon as they experience pain they say “Quick! Move on! Cheer up!” I’d like just for a year to have a moratorium on the word “happiness” and to replace it with the word “wholeness”. Ask yourself “is this contributing to my wholeness?” and if you’re having a bad day, it is. –Hugh Mackay