“There is an ocean between saying and doing” – Riaan Manser
I owe a big thank you to Lead SA for encouraging active citizenry in general, and for the Hero of the Year Award in particular. In addition to creating awareness, this award comes with R100 000 for TCC. And to the staff, donors and volunteers that make TCC possible – well done! – and thank you for all you pour into this work.
The award was announced during the Changemakers Conference, where several speakers shared lessons about change from their life experiences. Riaan Manser, who has cycled around Africa and rowed across the Atlantic, spoke about the “ocean between saying and doing”. As someone who has literally crossed an ocean, his message was clear – if you want to impact the world, do something. Yet several other speakers emphasized dialogue, saying that if you want to help others you must first listen and engage with them. That is, there must be much talk.
So which is it – talking or doing? I think the answer is “presence”. It is easy to talk about things that are far away. It is tempting to do something and then walk away. But when you begin doing something, and you stick around, you become answerable for what you do. You have to listen, engage, think, revise, improve.
Talking without doing is safe: you have wagered nothing. Doing without talking is still safe: you can simply walk away. But talking and doing together is vulnerable, for then both your saying and your doing will be tested – often against one another. Can lasting change be created any other way?
P.S. Come hear what we have to say and see what we do at our Project Day on 9 Sept, where visitors will get a chance to do an authentic learning project in the classes with the students.
RSVP on our website or Facebook page