so i read in the newspaper today before church (stocking up on caffeine and chocolate crouissant at the bp) that Jacob Zuma (our president) has fathered another child.
i never used to like Zuma. i heard a lot of bad things about him and saw him involved in some criminal cases with various accusations and he made some infamously bad statements about showering preventing AIDS (after being head of some AIDS council or something) and so i didn’t have a positive opinion
then i found out that my girlfriend (now wife, the beautiful Val) was friends with one of Zuma’s children and i met them and they were a really cool personage and so the one day i emailed them on Facebook and asked them to tell me one nice thing about their dad (cos i only had the bad stuff so what is one thing you really like about your dad that no-one else would know) – and they told me a thing – and it was a cool thing related to him being a family man and really vibing with the family
and it was cool to view someone i didn’t think much of (an opinion mostly formed by what i’d read or seen in the media) from someone who loved them’s perspective
and it made me think yesterday that even Hitler must have had a mom – probably Saddam Hussein and Osama Bin Laden have friends or family members who dig them and spent some good times with them – serial killer Charles Manson had a girl at college who had a crush on him, that kind of thing
something somewhere along the line went wrong i would imagine – and maybe it was early on – but no-one is born inherently completely irredeemably evil – horrible upbringing or traumatic boarding school experience or some kind of abuse or lack of parent or something and the wrong path is chosen
it makes me want to be a little more aware of the young people i am working with at church and through camps and just everyone i come into contact with – because i would imagine on the flipside that people like Nelson Mandela and Mother Teresa and Gandhi and Bono and, i dunno, whoever the turned-out-pretty-well people of the world are, had an upbringing where something went right
maybe i can be that thing. maybe you can.