Tshepo is a hive of activity on a Wednesday morning. Actually Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. It’s soup kitchen.
Theki, the Social Worker at Tshepo Community Development Initiative gathers the soup kitchen attendees every Wednesday morning for a life skills lesson. She says it important to instil good values.
Last week Theki did a lesson on Want vs Need. Her inspiration: the story of the prodigal son in Luke 15.
The youngest son was from a well off family: he wanted his part of his Father’s wealth. After he received it, he lived a lavish lifestyle and eventually the money ran out. He felt a need to look for a job, and the only job that he could find, was among the pigs. He lived and ate with the pigs. He came to his senses, and realised that he is not worth this: he wanted to return home. He needed to decide, and act on his need to go back home.
The simple distinction is that Want is a short term goal, something that will make your life better in the short run but might not add value to the life in the long run.
Need being a longer term goal, something that requires thought and planning and that can improve your life in the long run.
During the month of July, Theki drew inspiration from the life of Nelson Mandela.
Theki says Nelson Mandela had a humble beginning: a life in the village of Qunu, in the Eastern Cape. His life proved to be difficult. However, he always stayed focused on the goal: the goal to liberate South Africa.
Secondly, to never lose hope: through the bans placed on his life, his years in prison, the separation from his wife and family Nelson Mandela never lost hope. He continued to work, to overcome the challenges and hardship.
She used a quote by Christine Cane: “Sometimes when you are in a dark place – you think you have been buried, but actually you have been planted.”
Theki explains that it’s sometimes a shift in perspective, to allow us, when we are in a dark place, to think of it as being planted. When life isn’t going well, it doesn’t mean that there won’t be a beautiful tomorrow.
When you plant a seed, and cover it, it looks like its nothing, but give it some time.