Now and again, people accuse me of doing the whole ostrich thing. Not the having huge eggs that a grown man can stand on, but the burying one’s head in the sand thing. I know that it’s a popular misconception that ostriches actually do this, but I’m willing to go along with it, at least for the purposes of this post.
I do dispute that I do the whole ostrich thing, though. Being a positive or optimistic person is only any use if you have a over-riding accompaniment of realism on a sideplate. Blind optimism is as foolish as pessimism – it achieves nothing and gets you nowhere.
As an example – the new Koeberg flyover. I had high hopes for this ending the misery of the constant queues around the N1/M5 junction. This is healthy optimism. And they opened the first of the new flyovers (the southbound one, in case you’re interested) this week. And it does seem to have had some effects. Just not all good ones. In their wisdom and in an effort to remove the queues, they have – as a side-effect – channeled all the M5 traffic through one lane. In short, it doesn’t work.
This is realism. Blind optimism would ignore this heinous deficiency and wax lyrical about the speed of the flyover.
I’m not into that.
Furthermore, I was unimpressed by Cape Town Airport’s efforts to welcome international visitors to the World Cup. My main criticism is that there was actually no effort whatsoever. No flags, no posters, no noise, no fuss. And there needs to be fuss. This is the World Cup, for heavens sake. Even the “World Cup Welcome” desks were empty – and that’s shocking. Perhaps as shocking as my vocalising this annoyance may come to some readers of this site. But there’s no value in ignoring the deficiencies of this country or any other. How are things supposed to improve then?
But I do want to finish on a positive note. And that’s my prerogative.
I think that if there is one symbol that will become synonymous with this World Cup tournament, it is the vuvuzela. And I was lucky enough to win one, which was delivered to me today.
Just check out that beadwork in Proudly South African colours. Absolutely stunning.
And that’s what realistic optimism is all about. Enjoying the positives while not ignoring the negatives.
Tomorrow is the big day. Opening ceremony, Bafana Bafana v Mexico, France v Uruguay.
We’ve been waiting six years.