Are you selfish enough to help address our country’s challenges?

Whenever there is a call for people to help address the challenges in the country, we call for people to be selfless. Maybe it’s time for us to call on people to be selfish in the interests of making positive changes in the country.

Clem Sunter says that, based on current growth estimates, by 2030, in every group of 100 youngsters under the age of 24, 91 will be Blacks, 7 will be Coloureds, 1 will be Asian and 1 will be White. He goes on to say that those saying the Whites should be driven into the sea should not bother – they’re disappearing fast enough anyway.

The big question is: who will be running the economy then? And the even bigger question is: how will this affect the quality of life of the so-called “haves” when they, currently in leadership roles, have retired? If you think this doesn’t apply to you, if you’re 45 or over, that’s a very real possibility for you.

“Oh,” you say, “I’ll be all right. I’m earning good money and I’ve invested wisely. I’ll have enough money for my retirement.”

The vast majority of those 91 out of the 100 youngsters won’t have been educated so there will be very few skilled people to run the healthcare services (private or public), the basic municipal services and other essential services. As Sam Smith’s new Bond theme song says, the writing is already on the wall and, if those of us who have the capacity to do something do not take action, things will get worse, not better.

I put it to you that, if those of us in leadership positions don’t start working together to educate and train the next generation, which will be 90% Black, if we don’t create opportunities (not just jobs) for them, money will be the least of our worries. How about when you’ve crossed the 60 mark in terms of your age and your health starts failing and you are hospitalised, only to be treated by unqualified, unskilled and uncaring medical personnel – the ones you never bothered to help educate?

How about trying to live a comfortable life with interrupted and/or absent basic services like water and lights?

If you don’t want to help because you’re not motivated by kindness and compassion, maybe you need to start helping for selfish reasons. If we get the next generation educated and trained, we’ve got a better chance of living out a more comfortable retirement.

I therefore appeal to your selfishness. Want to look after yourself? Want to preserve your comfortable lifestyle? How about joining the cause to invest time, effort, skills, insight, wisdom, money in educating and training the next generation?

Things are reaching a tipping point, so much so, that it’s irrelevant if people are helping the country for selfless or selfish reasons. We can use selfish people right now. They are often very highly qualified because they have looked after number one – themselves – to make sure they could rise as high as they could.

Now we need to tap into that energy and drive, play upon their sense of selfishness to ensure that everyone, including them, benefits.

So, all you selfish people … if you want to continue enjoying a good life in this country, please make your skills, talents, knowledge and experience available so that you can continue to enjoy life here.

This is no longer a job for the selfless people. Selfish people are now very welcome!

Alan Hosking is the publisher of HR Future magazine, www.hrfuture.net, @HRFuturemag, and assists leaders to achieve self-mastery using IQ, EQ, PQ and SQ.

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