UThixo amsikelele umntwana*

Twitter screenshot of Gugulethu Ndzendze, aged 9

Howzitbin for you?

‘Unutterably bloody along to manageable’ seems an approximate spectrum of response to enquiries after how others have wrestled this forsaken, blighted year to the ground.

Remember 2008: when the financial waves crashed around our ears and one felt crushed by the weight of perpetual woe wafting from the radio? So, we’ve been here before.

A profound strength of emotional intelligence / literacy / resilience rests on principles of Truth. Facing up to reality is 1. soooooooooo much easier, and 2. soooooooooooo much easier. (3. & 4. equally so).

It takes the same amount of time to Listen as it does not to Listen but requires more of oneself. To Listen, you have to be prepared to give of yourself: your compassion, interest and untempered humanity. To be fully present.

I love that everyone round the planet celebrates Christmas in one way or another. Sacred and Secular unite in acknowledging the ontological/epistemic opportunity to thank with one’s heart for the gift of love. All of us can ‘save lives in different ways’ as Tamsin Greig mused on the radio recently.

When times are so tough there’s nothing tangible to give, we are given the chance to give the most powerful thing of all: our full presence.

Were there no pictures, you’d think Gugulethu Ndzendze a mature, academy-trained operatic luminary. Observe.

In reality, she’s a child, creating joy. Happy Christmas.

* Not being fluent in Xhosa, I was expecting God Bless the child to translate as Nkosi Sikelela umntwana in virtue of Nkosi Sikelel’ iAfrica. Tiens, eh ben dit donc.