Apartheid in South Africa - My Experience as a White South African
    My Experiences as a White South African The death of Nelson Mandela - my hero and the world’s icon - brings to the surface the deep shame I have carried with me for all of my adult life. I was once a typical white South African – privileged and spoiled – who learned by example to treat with disregard the needs and feelings of black people. Having spent 29 years living under the Apartheid regime before immigrating to Canada almost 40 years ago, it is with pain and penetrating regret that I reflect upon my experience and transgressions. In a country once filled with turmoil and hatred, Nelson Mandela’s voice was silenced by 27 years spent as a political prisoner. His historic walk to freedom culminated in his rise to become South African’s first black President, from where he would lead the country into a brighter future, and to the end of Apartheid. The year was 1994. During the last months of Mandela’s life, as he lay gravely ill, his voice was once again silenced – this time by the tubes keeping his lungs clear of fluid. But the words of Nelson Mandela will never be silenced, as his courage, dignity and determination earned him a place in international history. What is Apartheid? Apartheid - an Afrikaans word meaning ‘separateness’.  - was the  name given to the policies that were designed to uphold white supremacy by legislating racial segregation in South Africa - a country in which the  black population greatly exceeded that of white South Africans.  The Apartheid laws were discriminatory to extreme. Learning Discrimination         Our typically South African household employed two servants ...
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Low Self-Esteem is not a Life Sentence
      Can One Really Learn How to Build Confidence and Self Esteem? Is it possible to  learn how to build confidence and self esteem?   With determination and perseverance, the answer is a resounding ‘yes!’  I am living proof that having low self-esteem is not a life sentence! Symptoms of Low Self Esteem - What Does It Feel Like? For many, many years I was plagued with debilitating feelings of inadequacy - an all-encompassing belief that I was a flawed human being.  I was quite sure that there was something inherently wrong with me … that I was born with a deficit which I was powerless to change. Mistrusting of my ideas and opinions, I  kept them to myself and  felt like an  outsider watching the world go by without being a part of  anything. Making decisions was agonizing because I was sure I’d make the wrong choice. I could never say no to a request, and was convinced that if people knew the person  behind my smiling facade they would discover just how worthless I really was - and then disappear from my life.  So I lived in fear of exposure, envious of those who exuded confidence, and always aware of  a large, dark, empty whole inside of me - one that could never be filled. In short - I suffered from extremely low self-esteem. How Did it Happen? For so long, the cause of my low self-esteem eluded me.  Was I born that way?   Did I enter the world with low self-esteem?  Of course not (though at one time I would not have believed that).   Newborn infants have squeaky-clean slates - no hangups,  no lack of self confidence,  ...
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