Be An Optimist

Be an optimist
Not because the future is bright
But because bright people are working
To make the future better
Be an optimist
Not because the news is good
But because good people are showing
That change is always possible
Be an optimist
Not because the world is fair
But because fair people are fighting
For justice wherever it is needed

When ordinary people do extraordinary things
Let your heart beat a little faster
Knowing that you are ordinary too
When inspiring leaders rise to our biggest challenges
Let your sights be set a little higher
Knowing that you too can inspire
When young voices join in the call to action
Let your efforts go a little further
Knowing that you can always do more

Be an optimist
Not because the night is over
But because we all carry the light of values
And remember the promise of dawn
Be an optimist
Not because victory is certain
But because we have the opportunity
To still make a positive difference
Be an optimist
Not because the earth is a haven
But because we have a growing desire
To be guardians for all life

When the clouds of gloom are gathering
Let your knowledge of the sun and skies above
Be a vision that brings perspective
When the drums of war are beating
Let your refusal to cast others as villains
Be a declaration of our common humanity
When the tides of bigotry are rising
Let your belief that we all have equal worth
Be a boat that will never capsize

Be an optimist
Not because you ignore the facts
But because the wider landscape of facts
Tell a story of remarkable progress
Be an optimist
Not because the glass is half full
But because we always have the chance
To tap a greater source of power
Be an optimist
Not because you are blind and deaf and dumb
But because you see and hear and speak
More clearly what is possible

Wayne Visser © 2019


Seize the Day: Favourite Inspirational Poems

This creative collection, now in its 3rd edition, brings together favourite inspirational poems by Wayne Visser. The anthology takes us on a journey through the peaks and troughs of life, celebrating the indomitable human spirit.. It includes many old favourites like “Poets Must Be” and “Chasing the Blue”, as well as brand new poems like “The Writer” and “Making Ripples”. Sages through the ages wisely say: / Carpe Diem – seize the dawning day / Oh, would that I could assuage that thirst / But the day conspires to seize me first! / With the hurry and scurry / Of home’s frantic flurry / And the hustle and bustle / Of work’s tangled tussle. Buy the paper book / Buy the e-book.


Top 10 Reasons to Believe

Top 10 Reasons to Believe

Chapter by Wayne Visser

Extract from the book South Africa: Reasons to Believe

1    SA is a nation of survivors

We’ve transformed countless times and faced untold hardships with great courage and remarkable endurance. We’ve got tried-and-tested skills to vasbyt, to adapt, to survive, to thrive.

2    SA is proof that miracles do happen

Between 1994 and 2001, people with houses increased from 64% to 77%, people with electricity went up from 58% to 80% and those with piped water rose from 68% to 76%.

3    SA is rapidly redefining its image

From morrisjones&co’s Homecoming Revolution ad campaign to expats, to Proudly South African’s logo for quality local products, to the IMC’s Brand South Africa initiative, ‘Alive with Possibility’.

4    SA is poised for an economic take-off

We’re currently the 7th best performing economy in the world with the 3rd highest export growth rate (higher than the export explosion Japan experienced in the 50’s and 60’s!).

5    SA inspires world-class business

SAB (now SABMiller) is the world’s 2nd largest brewer, while the inspirational Mark  Shuttleworth captured 40% of the Internet digital certification market before selling Thawte Verification for $575 million.

6    SA is blessed with natural and cultural assets

We have four World Heritage Sites: The Cradle of Humankind, Robben Island, St Lucia Wetland and the Drakensberg. And the new 35 000 km2 Great Limpopo Transfrontier Park is larger than many European countries.

7    SA’s diversity is a fountain of creativity

Miriam Makeba was the 1st African Grammy winner in 1967. Nadine Gordimer and J.M Coetzee have both won the Nobel Prize for Literature. Athol Fugard is the second most performed playwright in English, after Shakespeare.

8    SA has produced icons of history

We have four Nobel Peace Prize winners — Albert Luthuli (1960), Desmond Tutu (1984), and Nelson Mandela and FW de Klerk (1993). Gandhi first tested his passive resistance technique in SA and Jan Smuts wrote the preamble of the UN Charter.

9    SA can show the world a new better way

No country is better positioned to prove to the international onlookers that different cultures can co-mingle and produce a remarkable civilisation.

10   South Africans can make a real difference

Challenges bring opportunities to really do something meaningful.  As SA rabbi, Warren Goldstein, puts it: ‘Our lives are full of significance here. It may not always be “pleasantville”, but it’s always “meaningful”.

Related pages

[button size=”small” color=”blue” style=”info” new_window=”false” link=””]Page[/button] South Africa: Reasons to Believe (book)

Cite this chapter

Visser, W. (2003) Top 10 Reasons to Believe, In G. Lundy & W. Visser, South Africa: Reasons to Believe! Cape Town: Aardvark, 1-14.

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Rainbows and Stormclouds

Rainbows and Stormclouds

Chapter by Wayne Visser

Extract from South Africa: Reasons to Believe!

There are many words to describe South Africa’s incredible journey through recent history. ‘Dull’ is certainly not one of them; neither is ‘boring’ or ‘predictable’. Rather, words like ‘epic’ and ‘revolutionary’ come to mind. Much like those brave and sometimes arrogant navigators and explorers of the new world, we South Africans are a travel-hardened and weather-beaten bunch, with many rough storms and cruel twists of fate behind our back. Amazingly, we have endured. We are survivors. And we should be immensely proud. We should constantly remind ourselves how tough we really are; how, despite all the trials and tribulations we have faced, we have, repeatedly, overcome.

Of course, it’s easy to be philosophical during the good times, when the sun is shining brightly and the waters are calm and sparkling. It’s far more difficult when the wind is howling and the ship’s mast is creaking, when the waves are crashing over the bough and the senses are numb from the lashing rain. And yet, this is exactly what the last few decades in South Africa have felt like – a relentless cycle of storms and rainbows. Like a sailing ship on the high seas, we have ridden out deep, dark troughs of fear and intimidation to ride high on the crest of the waves of liberating change, only to be plunged back into the torrid swells again. It has been a rough ride, by anyone’s reckoning, and the journey is not yet at its end.

Perhaps it is not surprising, then, that fear and uncertainty still hangs like a dark cloud over our national psyche. We want to start this book by acknowledging the bad-weather pessimism that many people feel in our country today. But we also want to place it into perspective. In this first chapter, as we briefly recall some of the highs and lows of our roller coaster ride of recent years, we take heart from how far we have come in such a short time. After all, in the broad sweep of history, our achievements are nothing short of amazing. We remind ourselves how good we are at surviving and thriving, despite the odds. We are proof that the sun always does come out after the storm. We show that even the darkest clouds on our horizon have a silver lining. And, for good measure, we buff up those breathtaking colours of the rainbow that this nation has become. …

Continue reading

[button size=”small” color=”blue” style=”download” new_window=”false” link=””]Pdf[/button] Rainbows and Stormclouds (chapter)

Related pages

[button size=”small” color=”blue” style=”info” new_window=”false” link=””]Page[/button] South Africa: Reasons to Believe! (book)

Cite this chapter

Visser, W. (2003) Rainbows and Stormclouds, In G. Lundy & W. Visser, South Africa: Reasons to Believe! Cape Town: Aardvark, 1-14.

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