South Africa: Saying 'I Do Not Know' Could Bring Change in the Right Direction

opinion

Saying 'I do not know' is very rare in a world of quick solutions, which pander to the public's favour.

Quite often the job that writers do in service of their communities is to articulate the problems of the day. Asking the right questions and providing a diagnosis is an incredibly difficult task.

It's the ability to stand outside of an issue, even though it may be personal, to observe and perhaps see what those actively engaged in a situation cannot perceive from their vantage point.

The job of a good writer is to hold up a mirror to society so that it may see itself just a little clearer, even if it does not like what it sees. Writers can provide perspective. This does not mean they offer the objective truth. We can all look at and exist within the same set of facts and provide a different diagnosis, based on our own beliefs, history, biases and also our positionality.

My work usually involves mediating between parties with extremely different points of view on a very sensitive situation, in which they have a personal stake. I often see my job as providing perspective...

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