Is it my imagination, or has the world we live in turned into a nasty, violent place?
On Monday, a colleague was hijacked. The thugs took her car, computer and cellphones, kicked her in the ribs, stood on her ankle and left her to fend for herself.
She was taken to hospital because the paramedics feared that she suffered broken ribs, but luckily the cartilage in her side was only severely bruised. Which, in itself, is a painful injury, but broken ribs are no joke, believe me.
I once broke two ribs in a somewhat unmanly accident – I fell out of my bed when the supports of my haphazardly compiled homemade bunk bed broke and I fell onto a metal trunk. It was a military trommel, I must add – hopefully that makes my accident sound a bit more macho!
I should have resigned as a DIYer there and then – not many years later, when the lovely Snapdragon told me something I knew deep down all these years: “You really are useless with your hands, you know?”
Anyway, I suffered for months. It was worse when I contracted a nasty chest cold, accompanied by furious bouts of coughing.
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With the present change of season, I am just happy for my colleague that her ribs are still intact. I know the cartilage injury is painful – “I walk like a granny with piles,” she described her injury to me – but it will heal soon. Her battered ego and dented budget, however, may take a while longer to regain its health.
This week, the murder trial of the accused in the brutal murder of a Gqeberha physiotherapist, Marolien Schmidt, was moved to the high court, reminding us of this despicable attack on another woman.
And when we dig deeper, tales depicting our violent disrespect for the women in our country surface. I cling with white knuckles to my belief in the goodness of the people of our beloved land, but it is becoming harder and harder.
I still dream of a country where we can all be politically and economically free. Where no children go to bed hungry, where we all have jobs and education and crime doesn’t exist.
I dream of quality healthcare for all, respect for each other and a country where our mothers, sisters, daughters and wives can be safe. But we, ourselves, are the dream crushers.