07 Sep It’s how you finish
There is a saying that says it’s not how good you start but how well you finish.
I used to say this all the time to my son when he used to race go carts. He started when he was four years old. I guess it’s true that parents sometimes live out their fantasies through their kids. I sucked at sports at school. I was in the H team for every team I tried out for. I was the last kid that got picked even when it was a friendly game of one touch with my own friends!
Coming back to my son, when he started racing his helmet was bigger that his torso. If you were to push him whilst wearing his helmet he would topple over. He looked like a stoksweet. He wasn’t particularly talented in sports either, to be honest. I guess the apple didn’t fall far from the tree in that regard. He would finish his first few races second last. When you open his helmet viser there would be steam, snot and tears!
Luckily, all kids at that age got trophies regardless where they placed in the race. That made drive home bearable as he was very proud of his trophy.
He then started improving and the more he improved there more he enjoyed it. As he got closer to the front the bigger the trophy sizes got.
What I loved about racing is that it taught him to think. He could calculate in that little head of his, if a pass was possible. At four years old he would get out of his car and compare his sector times with his competitors.
He understood what G force was because he felt it every time he took a corner at 90km an hour. The first time I heard of G force I was in grade 10! I didn’t understand what it was until I started watching formula 1.
At four years old this chap understood basic laws of physics. He underatood what inertia was. He also knew that the shortest distance between two points is a straight line. He understood these laws because he saw them in practice.
If you want to overtake the car in front of you ,these two laws were crucial. Ironically, as he started doing well and competing for podiums, I became that obnoxious parent. I went around saying; why do they give the losers trophies?! It encourages mediocrity! Yup, this was me now, walking around the paddock saying who’s your daddy to my son!
I see that Mr Malema is soon to receive a BA honors degree. 7 years ago every news paper in the land was calling him a bafoon that received a G in wood work.
I don’t know about you, but here is another classic example of it’s not how you start but how you finish.
I started taking Mr. Malema seriously when I heard him in court around the same time he was being ridiculed by the press. I remember the day vividly I was in Nelspruit to see a client. The client had a tv at the reception and staff had gathered to watch the televised trial.
Up until this point I had believed everything the media had told me about the then young Mr. Malema. I had no reason not to. Malema was a radical member of the ANC youth league. Or at least that’s how the media had portrayed him.
Looking up at the Tv, I didn’t know it yet but I was about to glimpse genius and not bafoonery.
The Judge said to Mr. Malema that his utterance at rallies amounted to hate speech. Malema responded politely to the judge by saying that these were freedom songs that the ANC had been singing for generations. He continued to say that he was in fact paying homage to fallen heroes. The judge then said why did he, (Mr Malema) have to sing the songs in public. Why not sing the songs in the shower, and pay homage there.. Mr Malema calmly retorted; “my lord regrettably the assemblies of the ANC do not gather in my shower”. I was like WTF, did this guy just say that! This was an ingenious answer! It was not scripted, it was the come back of the decade! I would have never in a hundred years with all my degrees come up with that response. It was witty, it was charming and it was on point! It was that day in 2010 I ceased to judge people by what I read in the press.
Whether Mr. Malema got H or a G in woodwork it’s certainly not the mark of the man he has become. You can say what you will about the EFF but these guys are arming themselves for battle with education. The People’s Bae Dlozi has now become Dr. Bae Dlozi.
These “radical” economic fighters are arming themselves. They are inciting radical transformation with one settler one degree.
More South Africans now know what happens in their parliament than ever before. This is true democracy. Democracy is not for parliamentarians it’s for citizens. It’s not how our democracy starts but how it will finish.
It does not matter what political affiliation you are, what matters is the depth of our future leaders.
They say evil triumphs when good men do nothing.
We now also need young future business man and women. We need entrepreneurs who have that same level of purpose. Entrepreneurs who can can forgo short term wealth for a future that benefits all. They may jeer you when you start but in the end they will cheer you.