The Great Awakening – Matthew Neethling

“My fellow South Africans” – The most terrifying word spoken this year!

So, let’s face it. 2020 has been one hell of a year. And I get it, 2020 has also been written about so many times. But this isn’t your normal bashing 2020 post. Let us discuss some great things that came from a year that would give the Devil nightmares.

During the scary and initial lockdown, the world as we know it, changed. People who have been with companies for years, who have given their blood sweat and tears to businesses and their careers, have seen everything they have worked for go down the drain, people who would work for businesses till 6,7, 8 pm were easily shown where their employers’ loyalty lay. But people are tough, people are resilient and like life, people will always find a way.

During this time individuals have woken up from the high-pressure corporate lifestyle where they had no work-life balance, and everything became about deadlines and being burnt out. They have realised that there must be a better way.

People have adapted, changed, and grown in new ways that they personally never thought would be possible. So, this is not a time for aggression and depression, but a time to stand still, take a deep breath and take a different look at your life and where you want to be.

People have realised that the times spent with loved ones are their most valuable asset. This was greatly impacted by the ability to work remotely. On the flip side, we have also seen a huge increase in new private SME businesses. People have taken this as an opportunity to bet on their own goals and dreams, and in turn, this has helped not only in growing one’s own business but working with other local business has seen other young entrepreneurs grow alongside them. This has contributed towards the rejuvenation of our economy, creating jobs and the camaraderie that has helped us as a nation stand together and support each other during these trying times.

As a society, we have taken the time back to make space for the important things in life. People’s goals have been put first, their time with our family has been made a priority. We as a nation have overcome so much but we still have a long way to go and if 2020 is any indication on what to expect in 2021 then I am excited for the growth of all SME businesses, local manufacturing coming back to our South African Shores and future jobs to be created.

So, wear your mask, support local and stop to appreciate the simpler things in life.