Pic of Belgium in action at this year's World Cup in Russia. Photo: Reuters
Pic of Belgium in action at this year's World Cup in Russia. Photo: Reuters
Literally Yours is a weekly column from Cape Argus reader Alex Tabisher. He can be contacted on email by actabisher@gmail.com. Picture: David Ritchie/African News Agency/ANA.
Literally Yours is a weekly column from Cape Argus reader Alex Tabisher. He can be contacted on email by [email protected] Picture: David Ritchie/African News Agency/ANA.
My byline underscores my conviction that our salvation as a nation lies in two words, both of which start with the letters *-a-*. Built into what I write is the fear that we might end up anointing flawed assumptions into moral imperatives. This is the arena where cultural awareness accumulates its complex baggage.

We are spending too much energy and time policing political correctness. In my humble opinion, it is politically incorrect to insist on political correctness. It flies in the face of one of our most basic inherited rights: freedom of expression.

Most faith-based practices function on either the direct or mediated words of the godhead.

Most words address the basic issues of moral living and domicile. Friction arises not from differences of interpretation, but on the differing levels of muscularity we bring to disseminating our own convictions.

We are unforgiving in positing our own notions of what is required from us as temporary residents of earth who will inherit - or not inherit - eternal reward in the afterlife.

So we articulate laws, rules, injunctions, advice and hopes that will provide the basis for our belief that we had landed in the correct arena to earn everlasting reward.

The baggage is now firmly in place. Whose words are the ones we are to believe and obey? And can we provide comfort for the other-minded who are not fortunate enough to be placed correctly during their one shot at life on this blue planet? Which brings us fairly and squarely to my two enigmatic words that start with the same three letters: language and land.

Because I need a place where I can articulate my convictions in a way that allows me to pursue my own belief system.

I need a safe place from where to posit my own truths without causing discomfort to others.

My own land and my own language are the truest defences I have for whatever differences others may see.

There should be no need to explain or defend differences that will invariably arise.

These two notions could be massively unifying or dangerously divisive. The friction arises in whether we can justify our own convictions without eroding “other” thinking.

Literally Yours is a weekly column from Cape Argus reader Alex Tabisher. Picture: David Ritchie/African News Agency/ANA.

Is there virtue in policing an inalienable right to be right about your own convictions? To me it is not a question of who is right.

It is more important who is left to prevent unnecessary frictions that will cause irreparable damage.

The current frenzy generated by the Fifa World Cup is an example of what I mean.

No one has to defend his right to his own brand of loyalty. In this divisiveness, we defuse confrontation by finding a binding factor, in this case football. We respect each other.

Can we do the same using language and land?

* Literally Yours is a weekly column from Cape Argus reader Alex Tabisher. He can be contacted on email by [email protected]

** The views expressed here are not necessarily those of Independent Newspapers.

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