Dr John Smith: We must embrace our own Rainbow Nation

Nelson Mandela's 'Rainbow Nation' should be a lesson to us in this country, says Dr John
Nelson Mandela's 'Rainbow Nation' should be a lesson to us in this country, says Dr John

Dear Reader, ever since I have been writing this column you have been very kind to me.

If we have met, or if you have written to me, you have been generous with your praise and kept any criticism to yourself.

Thank you, but this might all change.

Read on.

One of Nelson Mandela’s greatest achievements was the creation of a Rainbow Nation.

A nation made up of many colours, creeds and races and, on the whole, comfortable with itself.

It is a nation capable of reconciliation and forgiveness, still with many problems but hopeful of facing them together.

Aren’t we a bit of a Rainbow Nation too, because we are made up of many colours, creeds and nationalities?

But we are not as comfortable with it, and are more likely to blame others for our problems, and by others I mean people new to our country.

We find it easy to claim that they take our jobs, they fill our schools and hospitals and make claims on our welfare system.

Some of that may be true but surely we need to look at it in a different way.

They want to come because we are a nation that they admire – fair and principled, just and generally free of corruption.

They see our society as safe and secure.

In other words we, as a nation, are wanted so let’s congratulate ourselves.

But before we get too complacent we need to remember that we, as individuals, and society as a whole need to recharge our batteries.

Incomers bring new ideas, new enthusiasms.

They challenge us too and in doing so they invigorate us, make us stronger, make us grow.

Well reader, do you still agree with most of what I say... or have I, for once, gone too far?