For 3 1/2 months, 14 young women traveled throughout southern Africa. Their trip began in Zambia and carried them into Botswana, Namibia and finally – South Africa. We are delighted to bring you their trip notes about the amazing places they visited and more importantly – the people they met along the way.
Click here to read the entire trip blog: http://tts26.blogspot.com/
Reflective Writing Assignment
“For some damn reason I was born with a conscience and had do something about it.” Denis Goldberg shared his story with us as we ate mac + cheese that he prepared himself. It was only after hearing him speak that I realized how inspirational he was and the impacts he made in South Africa’s history. He was just a regular boy, born in Cape Town, aware of the racism that was happening around him. He was no different than his peers, there were plenty of others who knew what was happening, but Denis took the risk and made a change. Plenty of his peers, black or colored or white, involved themselves in protests but most of them ultimately placed their personal lives above the struggle against apartheid. Denis was jailed for 4 life sentences, this meant he would never get to live a normal live again. He would never see his loved ones, never enjoy the simple pleasures that I take for granted everyday. Arguably the worst part, he couldn’t continue fighting for this struggle that he had poured his heart into. “I couldn’t find a way to make my children more important than all of the others in South Africa.” This especially stuck with me because it demonstrated his outstanding goodwill and character. He devoted his entire life to a cause that didn’t even have to affect him.
I want to reflect on the importance of selflessness. Denis was growing up during apartheid – aware of what was going on. He, being born a white man, could do almost anything he wanted in his life. On the other hand, the black and colored people had so many limitations and restrictions on their lives in South Africa solely because of the skin color they were born with. Denis could so easily have lived his life as a bystander; pitying the oppressed but not taking action. Instead, he fought. He was capable, so why not take a stand? What was holding him back? Many things actually. He sacrificed his relationship with this family, and everyone he knew. To this day, he and his daughter still don’t have a good relationship because they misunderstand each other. She thinks he abandoned her and he missed so much of her early developing life that they struggle to mend their relationship. He mentioned what she said about him, “not everyone has to love their hero, in fact, I hate mine.” This represents how even though he’s out of jail now, his early decision to give his life to this struggle will affect him and those around him forever. What does it take, to give one’s life to make a change?
If everyone has the potential to live a life of dignity and make a change, why do such few people actually act? The struggle against apartheid represents so much more than just politics. It is a prime example of how a few brave people can come together and fight for a change. Denis probably never thought, as a child, that he would one day help end the system of apartheid and change millions of lives – seriously. I know that everybody has issues that they’re unhappy with, whether they directly affect one or not. As we’ve been discussing in Global Studies class, many problems exist in the world today and the world does need changing. So why do so many of us just sit back and stay uninvolved? I understand that it may be hard to believe that one person can make a difference, but if everyone had this new mindset then who knows where we could go! Overall, Denis’ actions inspired me like no one ever has before. If more people were aware of the potential they have, we could have a world full of Denis Goldbergs.