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Monday, February 28, 2011


In the work that we do we often get asked what our ‘success rate’ is or how many of our guys have become successful. My answer is always, ‘Well, define success’ and normally an answer along the lines of getting a job and so forth is what follows.

Thursday 24 February we celebrated with Keanan the success of finishing his Dive Masters Certificate and receiving a bursary to do his Commerical Divers Training in Durban. Definitely a success! A huge one! One that can easily be measured and that fits into the generic mould of success. But the night’s celebration held much more than that, it held a success of a different kind which, to the average passerby, would not be noticed, but to us it is a huge achievement and we jump in exuberance at the very experience of it.

The evening was held at Seaforth Restaurant in Simonstown, an upmarket area and restaurant with a smart-casual/semi-formal dress code where we drank cocktails and later ate pizza and calamari. The success? There were four LifeXchange guys who joined in the evening. They come from backgrounds of never having left their neighbourhood, never eaten at a restaurant, never had cocktails, never had alcohol without passing out drunk, never even dressed ‘nicely’. So the idea of celebrating with alcohol in a group context in an up-market restaurant is a huge "event". On this night they stepped tentatively, yet with confidence, into the public carrying themselves with impeccable manners, dressed with collared shirts and long pants, mingling with the others that joined the celebration that evening, having a sociable drink, had excellent table manners while eating their dinner, trying out the flavours of the different sauces, soaking in this entirely new experience. Anyone who didn’t know them would never have imagined that they had come from a background as far removed as theirs. The life skills they learnt that night - how to carry oneself and behave correctly at a public event/evening such as Keanan’s farewell. Incredible and amazing! The success that we can measure is that 17 months ago these same boys would never have coped with any of this, yet they have come such a long way that on this night they had outshone themselves.

Monday, February 7, 2011

madrap wisdom #8

shalom: means completeness, wholeness, health, peace, welfare, safety, soundness, tranquility, prosperity, perfectness, fullness, rest, harmony, the absence of agitation or discord. shalom comes from the root verb shalom meaning to be complete, perfect and full.