ENRICHING SUSTAINABLE LIVELIHOODS
'Diamond' Prospecting in KwaHlathi
Building a business from scratch
is no simple task
unless a clear plan you have.
So, some experts say.
Yet today I received a phone call
from someone who lost his livelihood
and his savings
due to COVID
and started growing his own food.
When an opportunity presented itself
to run a small business
he grabbed it.
Still, the initial experience
made him reflect on his vulnerability
and he decided to turn
what I think might have been a hobby
into a possible future business.
One step led to another…
His goal is to create
a zero-waste system
that is complex enough
to be completely self-sustainable;
he did not come to this logically but rather organically;
a zero-waste system is what I saw
when he was talking to me
and I wanted to suggest
this and that
for two elements of what he will produce
are out of balance…
Someone had referred him to me
for I have a product he requires;
my first customer
in this particular area.
A minute sale
I wasn’t expecting
for I am more used to gifting things
than to selling them.
The reason for this
is because I perceived myself
as a sustainable livelihoods’ consultant
following a specific pattern:
First you come and see me
and we work out what your purpose is
and if your work
and lifestyle align.
This is what makes you as an individual self-sustainable,
wherever you are
whatever your circumstances might be…
Another way of explaining this
is that if you have a clear sense of purpose
opportunities somehow open up
and whatever obstacles
come your way
are somehow easier to overcome
or to accept
as for your good;
or as a challenge to refine
or what you do
You learn to be patient
while simultaneously remaining tenacious
never giving up
on achieving the life-goals
you were born to achieve
the blueprint written
in your DNA;
the blueprint written
in your soul
for the blueprint in your DNA
and the blueprint in your soul
is are one and the same
is soul intelligent;
enlivens the body
explained Sara Evian
in her women’s shiur
Is a soul blueprint a map?
That can be misplaced?
Or muddied over?
Or put away as a thing of the wayward imagination?
Is it something that can be torn up?
Is it something that can be torn up?
gentle and well-meaning?
because this map
is a virtual thing
or a thing hidden from your sight
like the strands of your DNA
it is possible to access it
when it really wants expression;
when it refuses to be put down
when it refuses to be polite to those who don’t like it
when it refuses invisibility as its fate.
This is the good news…
The not-so-great news
is that livelihoods are more often than not
linked to monetary exchanges –
money does not grow on trees
unless the tree bears actual fruit
or has some other benefit
that enough people value
to pay for it:
Or products made from the above.
It is processing things that adds value;
it is called.
Diamonds are also valuable.
And ‘clear quartz’ might also be extremely valuable
in twenty years from now
if diamonds they actually are…
Yet even as quartz they are valuable
for immune system boosting
to aid concentration and memory
and if that is what has drawn your attention
I wouldn’t dismiss it;
perhaps there is something to learn from it
perhaps there is something to be gained from it;
yet watching people
flock to the small village of KwaHlati –
one hopeful man looking for a good car
good education for children
in small crystals
the earth has pressured into birth
teaches me something very important:
in my mind
the priorities are inverted
like an upside-down triangle
like a pyramid
poised on its nose;
without crutches to hold it up
it most likely will topple…
Why are pyramids so admired?
Why have pyramids become so popular?
Surely, a healthy modern economy
with a foundation built on human dignity
cannot be built on slavery
of any sort?
And why put a car first?
To be honest though,
my children have access to excellent education
so, who am I to judge?
I grow some good food.
I buy some good food.
I am in good health.
And I too, am looking for a new car
for my current one has served its primary purpose…
Even the desire for a car
is a soul thing.
Believe it or not.
I couldn’t see it,
couldn’t see it when told by
people from different non-Catholic persuasions –
I thought such fancies did not apply to me
I wanted a car that could convert to bio-fuel
for I was sure I would grow enough sorghum
to keep it going
on the farm I imagined owning…
The real challenge was
that the car I wanted
and am drawn to still
might not be able to convert to bio-fuel…
Still, watching the new ‘diamond rush’
that the state
has called ‘illegal mining”
has demanded it come to an end
so, it can provide the services it has failed
to provide until now
and look into
possible economic development…
It could be fake news,
I really don’t know
if this is true.
My own thinking is that if I could persuade
people in KwaHlathi
to plant some sorghum to run the cars they want to drive
if by chance
COVID lockdowns happen again
or food becomes scarce
at least sorghum can be eaten
or fermented into
a natural probiotic too
if taken in small quantities?
I think though
that land wants some cattle and chickens.
And that all three might be possible to farm together.
Horses are great forms of transport too.
For around the farm.
And mountain bikes.
And quad bikes.
And 4×4’s like the one I like.
A car is freedom
when a business you want to run
and perhaps that’s why the man in the video
placed it at the top of his wish list…
This then is the great thing about
knowing your purpose
and checking to see if your work
and lifestyle align with it
for every person has a unique path…
I have to warn you though
that I am a little devious,
a little disingenuous;
Everything I have written about sorghum is true –
What I left out
is that if in KwaHlahti you live
I would prefer to work with you
if you are willing to learn to love trees
if you don’t already do so…
I would start by planting agroforests
that help cattle
Growing sustainable food forests
is part of the vision
that makes enriching sustainable livelihoods
to me –
behind every client I see
is the hope
that this one will grow a forest with
or without me
even if it is just one tree at a time
planted in the right place
for the right purpose
in alignment with the ecosystem
it is planted in,
even if it requires a microclimate growing…
If by chance the quartz
turn out to be diamonds
I would suggest the local chief
looks for a local investor
if one is necessary –
open cast mining is fairly simple
and by selling any diamonds they may have
they can purchase
their own mining license;
the last thing we need
is for more youth
to refer to our beloved South Africa
Or anything other than South Africa.
(© Archaela 5781 Tammuz 13 and 14; 2021 June 25)
Disclaimer: When you attend a bone-reading in real life you are expected to agree or disagree with what you hear. From this interaction a clarifying conversation is made possible. This allows you to make informed and free choices that serves your highest good. Because such conversation is not available on this virtual platform you are encouraged to be additionally cautious with your interpretations of what is written. For her part Archaela does her best to share what she believes to be true at the time of writing… energies change all the time due to choices that the relevant players make between the time of writing and the time that you read it. So, proceed at your own discretion.
And may the one, true source of all life, bless you with clarity and empower you to align your lifestyle and workstyle with eco-social sustainability – with gentleness, with ease, with equanimity, with joy and in complete safety. What I ask for you, I ask for myself and mine as well.