“I have a dream”, the iconic words of Martin Luther King.
I too have a dream, a dream where every South African has a home… a dream where we are prosperous, thriving and living in safe communities.
Just a dream, you say. I beg to differ. It all starts with a dream and/or idea. What the mind can conceive, the mind can achieve. We can live in a better world than this… we can create an alternative to the present one.
How? Well we have been doing it with relative success… we had had small gains and therefore we are optimistic.
The power of community, should never be underestimated or berated… if a community works together it can change the lives of its beneficiaries for good. The disclaimer is that we need to be willing to change and we need to realize change favours the prepared and the active.
Change can only happen through work or doing. Only when we begin the process and follow through does change occur, so what does this mean for you and me. Are we lazy? Are we incapable? To ambitious? Maybe, Maybe not!
I feel that SMART goals (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, Time frame) any can be achieved even if a housing crisis.
How can the SMART goals be used to turn the current situation around? for the purpose of this article, I will focus only on the individual… here is a scenario to explain.
T: Time frame
There is a saying that the funny thing about common sense “Is that it is not that common after all” What do I mean by that? Well let look at a scenario… Vusi, Sipho and Wiseman are friends.
Vusi feels that it is the Government’s job to give him a house. Vusi might be right but Vusi had been waiting on the waiting list now for 12 years. Sipho was more pro-active he went to seek employment, where he can sleep in… the problem with that situation is, if he loses his job- his accommodation is taken away from him.
Wiseman joined the National Housing Stokvel Company, it operates a housing stokvel. Every month he had been saving towards owning his own home. Initially it had been hard for him, but he persevered and made many sacrifices, like not spending all his money on parties, etc. He started 4 years ago and had saved a substantial amount of money… with the help of the NHSC, he decided it was time to buy a house.
Wiseman had a specific goal, he wanted to own HIS OWN HOME, but he didn’t wait simply on Government. He formulated his own plan and joined a housing stokvel.
By being a member and contributing on a monthly basis, he made sure that his goal become Measurable in the aspects of a time frame (length of time he decided to be a member), it was also measurable in the amount he contributed towards his goal. He felt empowered as he was motivated to save.
The monthly contributions, which he had decided on, was both realistic and achievable for him… He chose a longer period so that he could have smaller monthly contributions. It was also realistic should anything happen, then he would still be able to continue. He was also smart and realistic by applying for a FLISP grant from DHS.
The last part is obviously the time frame… it is true that none of this plans materialized over night. He had to save 4 years, but in the end it was worth it. As a proud home- owner he had succeeded where so many fail.
Yes, Government does have an obligation to house its citizens, but why not be pro-active like Wiseman as opposed to Vusi and Sipho… Wiseman made sacrifices and he had the privilege of owning his own home… more importantly Wiseman learned the value of saving and of having small, easily achievable goals.
IT IS GOOD TO DREAM, BUT EVEN BETTER TO TAKE ACTION!