We may create these artificial boundaries between ourselves, but we are all here. I think it’s just a reminder to people that we live on one Earth. The impact is felt by all of us. If we’re gonna move forward and succeed, we’ve got to create room for all of us to collaborate.Mpumelelo Ncwadi
Green Renaissance produces gorgeous short films that uplift the personal stories of ordinary people, with the goal of sharing ideas and inspiring change. We feel hugely blessed to feature video-stories that filmmakers Michael and Justine capture with exquisite expertise, and which so beautifully illustrate Grateful Living principles and practices. In this short film we hear from Mpumelelo Ncwadi.
Learn more about Green Renaissance through our Grateful Changemaker feature.*
Questions for Reflection
- What feelings/thoughts/questions surface for you in viewing Mpumelelo’s story?
- How does Mpumelelo’s story move you?
We invite you to share your reflections below the video transcript that follows.
Right now we live in a very, very uncertain world. What we’ve always considered to be normal is no longer normal. Covid moved the point of equilibrium. If we’re going to cope with that new normal, we’ve got to adapt. It’s easy to be lost in the maze.
My father used to say, “Ningabophila ubomi benu emphefumlweni ngokujonga abamelwane benu ukuba bakhangeleka njani ngaphandle.” You should never live your internal life based on the outward appearance of your neighbors. We do things based on the values and what other people are doing. And we are off track, right there and then. You know, we take wrong paths. You just have to be prepared to have a bit of courage to look for the right path. And having the persistence to find what is right.
There are many lessons in nature about how to build our individual resilience. When you look at how fynbos can go through fire and rise up again. That fire allows seeds that have been buried to now open up so that they can thrive. And to see that landscape green after all the fire destroyed it, it’s a constant reminder to us as human beings…we might feel like we are devastated by the circumstances in which we find ourselves, but there remains inside us things that will let us rise up again. There are bad things that are going to happen, but out of this goodness can come.
When we experience pain and when we experience suffering and when we experience a setback, they just remind us that there is a part of us that is strong. If we are anchored by our values, if you are surrounded by a community that supports you, and you do things that are aligned with your own purpose, you’ll be able to grow taller.
I think all of us, when we are faced with hard times, trying circumstances, we need to grow a positive spirit, that we can survive and thrive. Nature can give us hope, provided we are willing to learn the kind of lessons that it teaches us. And of course, I don’t think you can learn from an environment from which you are not immersed.
Covid reminds us that we are all connected. When we suffer, we suffer equally. The virus doesn’t have any boundaries, it doesn’t know hierarchies. Whether I’m in the Philippines or I’m in the U.S. or I’m in Africa, I’m impacted the same way.
We may create these artificial boundaries between ourselves, but we are all here. I think it’s just a reminder to people that we live on one Earth. The impact is felt by all of us. If we’re gonna move forward and succeed, we’ve got to create room for all of us to collaborate. If we don’t collaborate, we’re most likely to fail together as a society.
It’s easy to be wrapped around ourselves, the spirit of self…I’m important, other things are not and other people are not. You’re part of a bigger society, you’re part of a bigger community, you live amongst people, and when you find yourself vulnerable, you need the support of other people. One of the guiding principles, which I think is a good guiding principle, comes from this book Life of Pi. It says, “There can be no greatness without goodness.” If I as a person want to get further, I’ve got to bring a lot of people along with me, so I’ve got a responsibility to do good things.
To be human…it means to understand that we’ve got a responsibility to be good, to yourself and to the people around you. The little quote that I keep going back to, it comes from mam’u Charlotte Maxeke: “This work is not for yourself. Kill that spirit of self. If you can rise, bring somebody with you.”
To support Michael and Justine in their film-making journey visit Green Renaissance.
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I just watched this and it moved me from a place where I couldn’t see the path to a clearing. An opening that had no preset paths but so much space to make one or some. Thank you. It’s not only a beautiful film but poignant.
This does not seem to connect with the other comments below.
What a beautiful video with a beautiful man. It reminds me of so many things and it rich with a variety of meanings, but the main one is that we need to be good and loving to all. The fire made me go back to childhood when we lived near heavily wooded areas, mostly pine forests. There would be fires when things got too dry. My parents taught me that the fire nourished the ground for such things as blueberry bushes, which always grew back more lushly than before. It also reminded me of the time when my best friend was traumatized when her school bus had to turn back from the road where her house was because the fire had jumped the road. Fortunately, all was well in the end. Both the beauty and the terror stemmed from the temporary destructiveness of fire. That is a good life lesson.
“I am one with you
You are one with me
We are one you see!”
A Love “n” laughter chant I share often within group settings. It applies to all sentient beings and our dear Mother.
Beautiful presentation and thoughts, thank you 😊
What a beautiful chant Dusty – thanks for sharing. And thank you also for your deep appreciation for our film.
We send you love. Justine and Michael x
Thank you, Justin and Michael.
I sit in the dark taking sips of my morning coffee and receive the love, hold it, and send some back!
All the best,