One of my best friends was attacked in her home earlier this week. She was followed into her driveway by a bunch of cowards with weapons, held at gunpoint and robbed of her jewellery and phone.
She wrote a very powerful blog post about it today which you can read by clicking here.
When I found out about it I had, as you would expect, a bunch of mixed emotions flying around in my brain. Firstly I was thankful that she, her children and her family were safe and that she was relatively unharmed. Then I was filled with rage that these oxygen-thieves are essentially able to get away with these acts every single day.
When my anger abated a little I was left with an aching sense of sadness.
Sad because, when all is said and done, I live a thousand miles away from Johannesburg and can offer nothing of any real interpersonal value to someone I care about.
My sadness was compounded by the fact that this dreadful incident made me realise (again) that I am an additional several thousand miles further away from my side of the family.
Even in a small world such as ours distance still has the power to leave us feeling impotent. This week it happened to be the inability to be able to offer a coffee and a hug to a friend. Some weeks it’s a missed birthday party, other weeks it’s a beer and a pep talk with my brother. In most cases it’s something small but its these tiny things that poke around in your mind and make you ask yourself what happens when it’s something bigger?
The world continues to shrink, but although Skype/Whatsapp/Facebook/Twitter bring us all closer it’ll never be quite like true human contact and interaction.
I think, for me at least, there are other factors at play at present. The fact that the Rand is worth so little globally adds to that sense of isolation. The world is a whole lot smaller to navigate if you have pounds, dollars or euros that’s for sure.
I don’t regret being where I am. I live in an amazing city, I have a wonderful family and I’m grateful for the friendships and relationships I have whether they are local or scattered across the globe.
It’s just tough sometimes.