Jane Ballot

Being me in the world

The way we see things

Every time I go on a literal journey, I am reminded of the wonderful expanse and diversity of terrain and experience we have in this country. The journey doesn’t have to be that far, or even to some beautiful rural location to make me look at things around me and re-think the way I see the world, even to a very slight degree.

The students have been on Teaching prac for the last number of weeks and I have been travelling around Joburg, but also to Randfontein, Vosloorus and Katlehong. I have never been to any of these places and it’s been quite an experience.

The thing for me is, I suppose, the realisation that, in these areas, there are whole communities who live out their daily lives pretty much the same way that I do – and yet, neither of us need ever interact or even be aware of the others’ presence.

When I go to a new school, again there is that sense of an entire world that I may touch on, but which I will never be part of, or really understand.

It is quite fascinating.

The whole world is like that, I suppose. As I sit here, in the quiet of my own little world, so do millions of others all over, in so many different, even small locations. We all have so much in common and yet we have nothing and will never get to know each other.

Then, of course, there are communities you may be thrown into because of something like cancer. Suddenly, I have things in common with a whole multitude of people everywhere who I may never meet, but whose community I have now entered.

Life is full of these moments and occasions that take us on different journeys, which may or may not have a lasting effect on us. It is how we choose to view the journeys and what we take away from the places that can help to make our outlook on this world that much richer and help to shape the way we see things.

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