Life is like a box of chocolates – if you are lucky enough

In the movie Forrest Gump, the main character says: “My mom always said life was like a box of chocolates. You never know what you're gonna get.”


Yes, life can be full of surprises – good ones and bad ones. Let’s face it: life is not fair. There is no equal distribution of good fortune. Some people get the chocolates with the nice, soft centres, while others get the chewy ones that stick to your teeth. Others don’t even come near a box of chocolates at all.


In itself, calling life a box of chocolates is a first-world metaphor which only works well in countries where the divides between rich and poor and educated and uneducated are not as wide as in our country.


In South Africa, only 12% (or around one in nine) of school children entering Grade 1 will make it to higher education institutions. The official unemployment rate for the first quarter of 2018 came in at 26,7%.


Working in a well-developed, modern environment such as a university, tends to cocoon us from reality. Sometimes, however, our community engagement activities (such as our LIFEPLAN® programme) confront us with the challenges that communities face. Then our first-world problems such as not having enough parking space on our campuses suddenly seem insignificant.


Good health is also a privilege that some of us take for granted. Sometimes even money can’t make up for the health problems some people endure. In the article about the symposium on autism, you can read about the advice given to the professionals, but also the families of people living with autism spectrum disorder.


Fortunately, together with the “sticky” challenges, life also presents us with pure sweetness and joy. Take for instance the fun day at the campus in Vanderbijlpark where the Candy Shoppe ladies entertained the audience with “sweet” songs, for instance “Lollipop”and “The Candyman can”.


Enjoy reading this Eish! and relish whatever sweetness life sends your way.


Happy reading.