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What Matters? Life Matters By All Odds (Perspectives)

Updated on May 15, 2013
© MartieCoetser
© MartieCoetser

What matters?

This month’s topic of the Perspectives forced me to ponder for days.

What matters?

What in this world really matters?

With this question on my mind I have started and ended my days for the past few weeks, pondering.... pondering....

© MartieCoetser
© MartieCoetser

My House

The roof over my head and the walls of bricks -

the house that keeps me warm and safe?

Of course, it matters a lot, but without it I will still find a way to live warm and safe.

© MartieCoetser
© MartieCoetser

My Car

My car, the cute little pink Fiesta that takes me from A to Z?

Of course, it matters a lot, but without it I will still find a way to get from A to Z.

My Job

My job, the source of my life-saving income, the reason why I can live proudly independent?

Of course, it matters a lot, but without it I will still live, although not proudly independent.

The People in my Life

My children, grandchildren, relatives and wonderful friends? Without their love and support I might have no reason to live.

Of course, they matters a lot – they give a special meaning to my life. But even without them I would be able to live.


So what really-really matters?

The answer I got was: LIFE. Life really matters. Having the privilege to breathe on this beautiful planet Earth is the ONE thing that really-really matters.

Then, surely, my health must be the ‘it’ that really matters?

Of course, my health matters! Without it I would not be able to enjoy LIFE the way it could and should be enjoyed. On the other hand, even in an unfortunate unhealthy state I would be able to enjoy LIFE and LIVING. I would make the best of it, supported (and even not supported) by caring people and medical resources.


My precious brain did not come forward with anything that matters more than LIFE.

Life really-really matters!

Life, as we know it as humans on planet Earth regardless of life we might have had before or might have beyond the grave, really-really matters! We may call it a ‘gift’ from The Creator, The Incomprehensible Force that had created and is still maintaining the Universe, including Earth, and all that lives AND dies.

Of course, Life matters by all odds.

© MartieCoetser
© MartieCoetser

And this brought me to South Africa’s crime rate -

“South African society is now more violent than it was under apartheid!” ~ Desmond Tutu, South African social rights activist and retired Anglican bishop.

In South Africa Life is considered to be cheap and easy to end. Recent reports - A-year-from-hell-the-truth-about-south-africa/ - by Sunette Bridges reveals the most brutal attacks on white South Africans during the past year - Since 1 May 2012 to 30 April 2013 (365 days): 306 attacks, 169 murdered. 21 raped.

This is but only statistics stating less than a tenth of all brutal attacks during the past year in this beautiful country that accommodates the so-called “Rainbow Nation” - a nation composed of people of many races speaking one or more of the 11 official languages. By percentages the number of victims in all race groups proves that crime is not necessarily committed with a racist attitude, but by uneducated and ruthless people who regard LIFE as something that doesn't matter at all.

According to statistics 70,000 whites have been murdered by blacks since the ANC came into power in 1994. This may be labelled as a ‘racist’ statement, but unfortunately it is a FACT to be regretted by all.

See wikipedia's page about this MATTER of great concern ~


70 000,00 murdered since 1994, including whites living in cities and towns!


But.... President Zuma Says Farm Attacks Are NOT Racially Motivated.....


Talk of white SA genocide is rubbish, says

Dan McCarthy, and he emphasizes that according to crime statistics there are more black murders than those of other races.

Keeping the 2011 Census in mind, South Africa's population is composed of -

  • 79% Blacks (± 41 million)
  • 8,9% Whites (4,5 million)
  • 8,9% Coloureds (4,5 million)
  • 2.5% Indians/Asians (1,2 million)
  • 0,5% Others (280 thousand)

Let’s forget about the ‘more’ in Dan McCarthy’s statement and make a fair and non-prejudicial calculation with the available numbers. just to get half of an idea of how many people were killed since 1994 - (19 years) -

614,444 Blacks

70,000 Whites

70,000 Coloureds

19,444 Indians/Asians

3,889 Others

A total of 777,778

= 40,936 per year

= 112 per day.

However, according to a recent report only 50 murders are committed per day. So let's see if genocide might be the case -

50 x 365 x 19 = 346,750 murders since 1994

Of which 70,000 were Whites, in other words ± 20% of all murders. For a group that forms only 8,9% of a country's population this might very well be regarded as genocide.


We are discussing LIFE and the fact that LIFE MATTERS regardless of race, culture, gender or age.

Sunette Bridges and her father, late Bres Bridges, singing Love and Roses ~

Sunette Bridges

Singer and songwriter Sunette Bridges is the daughter of the legendary Afrikaans singer, late Bles Bridges. She distinguished herself in her own words as somebody “fighting her jis off to create solidarity among white South-Africans”.

(Solidarity is NOT a strong characteristic of white South Africans, and in particularly not of the Afrikaans-speaking group known as ‘Afrikaners’, or ‘Boere’ (Farmers). Since their origin as a nation in the late 1600’s - as the descendants of European immigrants - Afrikaners differentiated themselves as extremely unwilling to surrender to the physical and emotional control of another. Although seeking the same success, peace and joy, they tend to form small groups opposing and criticising each other.)

Sunette Bridges has researched and provided the number of brutal attacks on whites during the past year. She is still doing this on a daily basis on her Facebook Page, knowing that she will be stoned by her own people just because she has the guts to raise her voice. Sadly, she attracted a large following of extremely conservative, narrow-minded and openly racist fans with whom many white South Africans cannot associate.

Whites living in Informal Settlements


I take my hat off for Sunette, for proving her passionate love for her fellow-Afrikaners via charity projects to the benefit of those who have lost their work, homes and dignity due to affirmative actions and (reversed)-discrimination. She is not only a ‘talker’ ignoring the label ‘White Activist’ given to her by opinionated critics not using their energy productively by DOING something to the benefit of their fellow-man, but a woman DOING everything in her power to make a difference in the lives of her fellow-Afrikaners.

After all, “charity begins at home.”

As the founder of the Boervrouliga and the Bridges Music Foundation Sunette deserves just as much support as any other charity organisation in the world.

In Conclusion

Life really matters.

Imagine if “Live and let live” and “Love your fellow-man as you love yourself” were Everybody’s principle?

Live and let live -

How hard can it be?

Love your fellow-man;

Respect their opportunity to live -

How difficult can it be?

“Love your enemy” –

another Christian principle –

would become an archaic slogan

when all humans could only live and let live,

loving their fellow-man unconditionally.


With a hope like this we have no other choice but to believe that only one day, beyond the grave, we will live in a state of being - known as 'Heaven' - where Love and Peace reigns forever and a day.

© MartieCoetser

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Title :: What Matters? Life Matters By All Odds (Perspectiv
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The Perspectives


What/Who are the Perspectives?

The idea behind this series calledPerspectives is explained in a hub published by MickeySr:

  • Perspectives: An Introduction
    What we think and how we feel about things is defined, not by the things themselves, but by our perspective of things. Everything that comes before us is filtered through our perception of things...

Read the perspective on 'What Matters' of my co-Perspectives

Marcoujor - What-Matters: Sleep-On-It

VickiW - What-Matters: The-Team

MickeySr - What-Matters:Truth

Docmo - The-Tao-of-Matter

Shauna is enjoying her well-deserved break this month in order to meet important deadlines.

© MartieCoetser
© MartieCoetser
© MartieCoetser
© MartieCoetser


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    • MartieCoetser profile imageAUTHOR

      Martie Coetser 

      4 years ago from South Africa

      Hi Nadine, yes, I have to ask myself the same question. Why do I live here, and why do I hope to live here for the rest of my life? When we compare our problems with that of Syria, we should rather count our blessings, don't you agree? But oh, reducing crime in this country should be the government's first priority. We just can't go on like this! Thanks for the visit, Nadine :)

    • Nadine May profile image

      Nadine May 

      4 years ago from Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa

      Martie I've often wondered: why do I like living in SA? Why do I feel I'm coming home when I arrive back in Johannesburg airport after my visit to the UK and Holland? Our rainbow nation with all its problems and troubles still makes me feel at home. Why? You gave me the answer: LIFE MATTERS that is the feeling I experience living in SA. Thanks for your informative, unusual and creative hub.

    • MartieCoetser profile imageAUTHOR

      Martie Coetser 

      6 years ago from South Africa

      Peggy, there is also a quote - to say that poverty and a lack of education breed criminals is insulting the poor and ignorant......

      We have to agree that All criminals are not poor and uneducated. Lack of good values may be an indisputable instigator?

      Thanks for your supportive and thought-provoking comment :)

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 

      6 years ago from Houston, Texas

      The statistics you report are certainly alarming. So sad for all of the people who are impacted by such violence. Not being educated combined with poverty is a lethal combination.

    • MartieCoetser profile imageAUTHOR

      Martie Coetser 

      6 years ago from South Africa

      Dearest drbj, sadly some people have no respect for life. Maybe because of a mental disorder, or a total lack of education. Not even the death of their own beloveds can pull them out of the darkness of ignorance. I am on the edge of despair, holding onto the saying: "If everything else proved to be unsuccessful, try praying."

      Many years ago I've decided to ignore all bad news and to simply enjoy (in a responsible manner) all the good Life has in stock for me. I stopped reading newspapers and stopped allowing any bad news that accidentally enter my mind to upset me. Of course, I was/am not always successful, but after each panic attack I try harder to ignore the bad and focus on the good.

      I have recently subscribed to a site (Facebook page) that reports all farm attacks and other murders of Whites by Blacks. In 31 Days (1 May to 31 May) 72 attacks on 104 Victims. 7 were Raped, 23 Murdered! ..20 Farm attacks. This is TOTALLY ridiculous and considered to be normal by our government! And keep in mind, this is but only a small part of the statistics. In the townships where most of the blacks lives the rate of murder/rape/violent attacks are ten times higher. Too many people lives in poverty due to irresponsible multiplication, unemployment, ignorance and the inherited attitude of parasites (depending on charity, or rather addiction to charity - surely to blame on Apartheid, but also to blame on their original culture, stating that everything on this earth BELONGS to them and they have the right to take whatever they want (as long as they share it with their king and the rest of their clan).

      Maybe I should stop receiving all those bad reports. Unsubscribe! Changing myself into a happy-go-lucky ostrich again.

      In Botswana, our neighbour country where the dead penalty is still practised, the crime rate (on all crimes) are not even worthy to mention. So maybe, just maybe, re-installing the death penalty in SA could be a solution. Although our government and fighters for human rights will surely not consider this. But really, what else could be done to stop this barbaric attacks and killings?

      12:30am and I am heading to bed quite disturbed by all of this…..

      Thank you so much for your support :)

    • drbj profile image

      drbj and sherry 

      6 years ago from south Florida

      It seems from your descriptive writing, Martie, that senseless killing is not confined to the U.S. I grieve that so much of it is also taking place in your beautiful country as well. Life, as you pointed out, is still our most valuable commodity and we - in every country - must not stop trying to educate those who are either unintelligent or unwilling to learn.

    • MartieCoetser profile imageAUTHOR

      Martie Coetser 

      6 years ago from South Africa

      Hi b.Malin - I am quite disheartened, having no idea WHO is going to do WHAT about the sad conditions caused by a certain type of unscrupulous, fiercely, uneducated, unenlightened people in this country. They have NO idea what they're doing and apparently nobody - not even the Police and the Juridical System - is able to control them. They are like the hoi polloi of the Middle-Ages - beyond redemption!

      I am doing another hub about this - emphasising precautionary steps against crime, but with horrific statistics. I LOVE my country, but wish with all my heart that ALL people (of all colours) could receive an instant mentality make-over, including the attainment of vision and insight.

      Thank you so much for your concern and blessings. My heart is also with you who are facing all those disastrous 'Acts of God' from time to time :)

    • b. Malin profile image

      b. Malin 

      6 years ago

      Hi Martie,

      Beautiful words in "What Matters" from your sweet heart. It is Terrible what is happening in your Country...Your Pain comes through Loud and Clear. I am humbled by your words...And no one should judge, till they've walked in your shoes, and seen what you've seen. Bless you my "Sister" from across the Sea...You are Loved.

    • MartieCoetser profile imageAUTHOR

      Martie Coetser 

      6 years ago from South Africa

      Nell, this is exactly the question asked by thousands. So many laws and actions are actually racial-biased. Sunette Bridges mentioned this issue just today - What else could one call "Affirmative Action", "Black Empowerment", "Black Lawyers Association", "Black Editors Forum", "Black Business Forum". Imagine we establish "White Empowerment" (again), and "White Lawyers Association". One of our presidents once made a pretty fool of himself when he stated that ONLY Whites can be racists. (While Blacks simply struggle to have equal rights? I beg your pardon!)

      Don't read me wrong, I am not a rac(e)-ist, but I am surely a criminal-ist and totally against injustice.

      Thanks for mentioning this very sad issue. Take care, Nell :)

    • Nell Rose profile image

      Nell Rose 

      6 years ago from England

      Hi Martie, to say I am shocked is an understatement. The one thing that puzzles me is why is the that the white south Africans are, just like the English, always labelled racist, but not other nationalities? Especially in your country where your people are the minority?! makes no sense at all, please keep safe, and yes life is the most precious thing of all, wonderful hub, nell

    • MartieCoetser profile imageAUTHOR

      Martie Coetser 

      6 years ago from South Africa

      Lots of hugs to you, Paula :))))

    • fpherj48 profile image


      6 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

      Thank are a much-appreciated friend.....a wise, sweet woman and I am honored to know you.......Love, Paula

    • MartieCoetser profile imageAUTHOR

      Martie Coetser 

      6 years ago from South Africa

      My dearest fpherj, there may be times in our life that we don't contemplate the joy of living, taking everything for granted and focusing on less important matters. But then, the day Death knocks on our door, or on the door of anyone we know, we once again realize that Life as we have the privilege to know it on this beautiful planet is to be treasured, appreciated and enjoyed with all our heart. Take care my fellow-Aries. GOOD to see you in my corner! And BTW, you are ALWAYS somewhere in my thoughts :)

    • MartieCoetser profile imageAUTHOR

      Martie Coetser 

      6 years ago from South Africa

      Pamela, your series of recent events is still haunting me - such a proof that we may be up and about today and flat on our back in the hospital tomorrow. Our health certainly matters; pain and health issues are dreadful depressive. I hope with all my heart that your current problems are bearable and superable. Take care, my dear friend :)

    • fpherj48 profile image


      6 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

      Martie...BRAVO!!! Simply and incredibly fabulous. I hung on your every word. This is such stunning information you have shared with us, involving your Country. It is painfully apparent how you came to present this wonderful article on "What Matters!!" Sheer excellence, as always my Aries sister!.........UP+++

    • Pamela99 profile image

      Pamela Oglesby 

      6 years ago from Sunny Florida

      I think this hub is awesome. Life is what matters. I love your perspective on the whole thing. The statistics are heartbreaking, so be safe always. I would also encourage you to keep your perspective, as you are right. Material things are good and helpful, but surely not the most important thing. Enjoying the simple things in life is what I am trying to focus on now after the series of my recent events. I wish you the best and you are in my prayers. Big hugs to you.

    • MartieCoetser profile imageAUTHOR

      Martie Coetser 

      6 years ago from South Africa

      @ Tillsontitan - Just feeling the awesome sunshine on one's skin and breathing, is enough reason to love and respect life. Even if life is the only thing we love and respect, we would create heaven on earth. Thanks for encouraging me to keep this perceptive on what really matters.

      @ midget - Humans are so arrogant - wanting more and more, while they are destroying life of all forms in order to get what they want. Thanks for your comment and for sharing :)

    • midget38 profile image

      Michelle Liew 

      6 years ago from Singapore

      Very, very well said, Martie. And we do not cherish life enough......everything is never good enough or whole enough or properly enough done. Life really matters...and I second you on that! Sharing!

    • tillsontitan profile image

      Mary Craig 

      6 years ago from New York

      Oh Martie! What is there but life? So precious and all we really have and own. How incomprehensible that there are people who have no respect for life and think nothing of taking it away. Your statistics show a situation that seems to be spiraling out of control, and yet, it is not only happening in South Africa. We live in a world full of hate and disrespect...a world where a life doesn't matter, to some while others of us hold it sacred.

      You, my friend have written a heartfelt rendering of what we must all cherish, Life and as Billy stated, love! It is my mantra, live and love! God bless.

      Voted up, useful, and interesting.

    • MartieCoetser profile imageAUTHOR

      Martie Coetser 

      6 years ago from South Africa

      @ Nellieanna - Indeed, reality is interpretation. I find my grandchildren's interpretations quite interesting. They actually prove (to me) that people perceive reality differently. Hugs :)

      @ MsDora - I am so glad you agree with me. Though I don't believe disrespect for life is new. Throughout the ages humans were killers and destroyers. Just count all the wars and revolutions. Take care :)

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Weithers 

      6 years ago from The Caribbean

      The South African stats are appalling. Respect for life-the thing that matters most-is missing not only there, but everywhere. I agree with your conclusion: Life really matters. We should all cherish it.

    • Nellieanna profile image

      Nellieanna Hay 

      6 years ago from TEXAS

      It's my realistic optimism and optimistic realism. It doesn't help to deny reality- but reality itself is highly subjective, isn't it? :-) love you too.

    • MartieCoetser profile imageAUTHOR

      Martie Coetser 

      6 years ago from South Africa

      @ Nellieanna – it is certainly not the worst the world has ever been. Thanks to my knowledge of history and the development of the human race, I don’t panic. Societies/nations eb and flow while the Earth keeps on orbiting the sun. What is, was, and will always be.

      I found your comment encouraging. Your perceptive on this entire scenario equals mine perfectly and a must-hold on to. Thank you so much, my dearest CM :)

      @ Gypsy Rose Lee – It is like living in a jungle. Some animals are dangerous. Know them and learn how to avoid them. If they surprise you, well, then it’s ‘tickets’ and off to the world beyond.

      @ AliciaC – Oh, but then, if you worry, you die, and if you don’t worry, you also die, so why worry? Thank you so much, Alicia. Compliments coming from you are always highly appreciated and treasured.

    • MartieCoetser profile imageAUTHOR

      Martie Coetser 

      6 years ago from South Africa

      @ ImKarn23 – my dear friend, South Africa is like a home where the children are in control because the parents are retarded. Sadly, children are completely self-centered and they don’t have any comprehension of the future and the consequences of their actions. As for the parents – they can’t be blamed - When you are retarded, you are retarded :((((((

      @ SilentReed – your comment made me cry! Yes, Nelson Mandela had insight and vision. He surprised the entire world with his ideals, forgiving attitude and eagerness to change all that was wrong into right. SADLY, he is ONE of a kind – one of those individuals who will be remembered as one who had lived ahead of his time. If there are others in this country with his intellect and wisdom, they don’t have any power or influence. Affirmative actions – in order to create a balanced workforce in all sectors (79% blacks - 8,9% whites - 8,9% Coloureds - 2.5% Indians/Asians - 0,5% Others) resulted in complete incompetent management, production and services and this resulted in the anarchy of frequent strikes and riots.

      99% of the criminals, including rioters and strikers (particularly the initiators) were born after Apartheid has been demolished. They had (and still have) all the opportunities to rise above the sad circumstances that was caused by Apartheid. But with their incompetent teachers, doctors, nurses, parents, etc., frequently striking – (people with no comprehension of ‘responsibility’, as they were dependents, receivers, followers, living on charity for decades) – they, too, can’t be blamed.

      It was never my intention to upset my friends in HubPages with this negative information and especially not with my fears, frustration and cynicism – I really try my best to look the other way – to focus on the many things to be enjoyed and appreciated – because I don’t have any power to change the situation. Only in my own little world I strive to be a builder and maintainer of Good and Glory, and will keep on doing this until Death stops me.

      Thank you so much for your profound and empathetic comment.

    • AliciaC profile image

      Linda Crampton 

      6 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Your hubs always give me so much to think about, Martie. The data that you've shared is very alarming. I worry about the future of humanity when so much hate pervades the world.

    • Gypsy Rose Lee profile image

      Gypsy Rose Lee 

      6 years ago from Daytona Beach, Florida

      Great hub Martie. You know I believe that if we can find our own space to live and to love then we have got the best that we can hope for. Scary what you wrote about South Africa. I just can't understand why people won't leave others alone life is short as is. Passing this on.

    • Nellieanna profile image

      Nellieanna Hay 

      6 years ago from TEXAS

      Thank you, darlin'.

      In a way, being an octogenarian feels very good. I'd hate to have had to grow up and learn about life in today's world, frankly. It's good to be 'on the other side' of that scenario - still learning, of course, but with a slightly improved perspective.

      From this vantage-point, it takes on an over-all perspective. Looking at it from an historical perspective. . . it's certainly not the worst the world has ever been; all of its woes and goofs are simply better and more quickly KNOWN about. Had the folks of the Renaissance had TV news reports and analysts, reality shows, Facebook and Twitter discussions and instant communications through cell phones, email, Hubpages and all the multitude of overwhelming information - (and misinformation) - which is daily, hourly, by-the-minute thrust at people, plus the often-destructive reactions these rapid-news items stir, - they might have given up on the old world and set fire to it. If the story of the great flood and the destruction of everything and everyone except those on the Ark 'holds water', it doesn't say a lot for that time and situation here 'below', either. One could go on and on. The struggle is inherent. Life is a challenge.

      The least 'civilized' peoples on earth right now seem to have more decency in many ways than the 'elite' of the earth seem to.

      It's not hard to be discouraged, but the only way to survive as intact as possible, in my humble opinion, is to BE decent and hopeful oneself;- to help, encourage and see-beyond enough to be one bright candle in the dark,- - if, indeed, it is as dark as our information deluge portrays it. As you said in your general reply, - not ALL your countrymen are barbarians; in fact, the majority are not. That could be said of any country or region anywhere. If EACH individual who IS a decent, caring, cooperative PERSON just openly behaves that way, with realistic awareness, caring and concern for those who seem headed in the wrong directions, then - it's is NOT hopeless.

      One must always look to oneself when plumbing the depth of how bleak it is and ask oneself, "what about me?". That is the only person one can really 'fix', and if there is nothing about oneself needing 'fixing', - well - first of all, that's a miracle right there, and if there is something that could be improved, then that is where to begin making the world a better place! If everyone honestly did that, it would be. Why is that such a far-fetched idea? Isn't it the basis for all the religions, or at least - for what their founders' vision propounded? The tendency to shine the spotlight on others' faults may muddy those visions, but they are still valid. It still rests upon each individual to be demonstrated,not on 'someone else'.

      I love your passion and concern, dear Martie. Reminding us of the things in need of fixing is valuable. But it is not very valuable to become discouraged. Discouragement is the most destructive

    • SilentReed profile image


      6 years ago from Philippines

      There was a lot of hope when Nelson Mandela was sworn in. Incompetence in running the government is one thing but your article show the obscure side of S.A. after Apartheid that most people in other parts of the world are unaware of. The picture with the "kill the boere" is frightening. Has the pendulum swung to the other extreme? With S.A.'s vast natural resources, are outside forces with special interest using racial divisiveness to create turmoil they can exploit, or is this a purely homegrown affair, the result of resentment coming to the surface after years of white rule? The oppress becoming the oppressor.

      There is so much passion for what matters_life, in the earlier part of this article. It is why I am sadden to read the conclusion, Alas! It drips with cynicism, not in the nature of the Martie Coetser I have come to know in Hubpages. I say this with all sincerity because we cannot begin to fathom the frustration you must be feeling about what is happening in your beloved country.

    • ImKarn23 profile image

      Karen Silverman 

      6 years ago

      i adore and deeply respect people who take control - take action - and take responsibility!

      There is far too little of such attributes in this sad world - that is so quickly seeming to spiral down to the basest type of 'barbarians' imaginable - the type who cares about themselves ONLY! very frightening!

      Your writing is phenomenal and intelligent - as always! I feel the passion and pain, and pride beneath your words, my friend - and share them with you!

      voting/sharing on

    • MartieCoetser profile imageAUTHOR

      Martie Coetser 

      6 years ago from South Africa

      Amy Becherer – I cannot help but feeling relieved when I hear about crime in America or elsewhere in the world. It is quite comforting to know that South Africa is not the only country suffering the mentality of barbarians.

      The rioting crowds down here as well as the brutal murderers are mostly poor people, angry because their (our) leaders and the managers of municipalities live and love and do whatever they want in luxury, regardless of laws and moral boundaries, while they (the poor) don’t even have the essential. We cannot blame them (the poor) for what they are doing, but we do wish that they were less violent. Personally I blame our pathetic Government. They TALK a lot; their vision impress, but for some reason – lack of communication between top, middle, low management and, sadly, incompetence - they are not able to realize their dreams.

      We do have our share of violent crimes involving the mentally ill and/or drugs addicts, but the main reasons for our ridiculous crime rate is definitely poverty, lack of education and unemployment.

      Thank you so much for your generous and profound comment, Amy :)

    • MartieCoetser profile imageAUTHOR

      Martie Coetser 

      6 years ago from South Africa

      kallini2010 – I envy you! My son-in-law's brother is living in Canada for many years now – as happy as a pig in Palestine. He often comes down for a visit, but always eager to return to Canada.

      The situation in South Africa reminds me of the French (and Russian) Revolution. The guillotine, however, is mobile.

      Solidarity is essential to fight any menace of a kind, and this ‘camaraderie’ sparkles in its absence among whites. When the blacks demonstrate discontentment, they do it all together – whether intimidated by the ‘gangs’ or not. And you know, crowds are absolutely terrifying. The whites regard themselves as too smart (civilized) to organize and participate in riots. Those who don’t, are only a hand full and therefore powerless. Many use the pen (more powerful than the sword), but with no effect. Interesting, the majority of whites believe in prayers. So they are praying, hoping for a miracle.

      Like you, Svetlana, I have no answer.

      Enjoy Toronto!

    • MartieCoetser profile imageAUTHOR

      Martie Coetser 

      6 years ago from South Africa

      @ Vickiw – You have no idea how good it is to know that someone Up There knows and understand the circumstances down here. But we realize that we are reaping what our fathers and their fathers had sown... all the way down to the 4th generation. One of my cousins immigrated to England almost a decade ago. December, while she was here on holiday, she almost succumb to fear and anxiety, so she decided never to come down again in spite of the fact that two of her children are still living here. Humans are the most adaptable specie, so we adapt... adapt... adapt until we die. Thank you so much for your support 

      @ Faith Reaper - you are such a darling. Yes, maybe I must write a book. Thanks for the encouragement :)

      @ MickeySr – Numbers are exact and not interpretable. I had to use them to explain my perceptive on ‘What Matters’. But then, mathematics is a language – not everybody understand it. Take care, Mickey :)

      @ picklesandrufus – Cancer and all terminal illnesses are brutal eye-openers. Crime down here is like Cancer. Cancer of the society. But somehow it does not open the eyes of our rulers. To be diagnosed with Cancer, or to know that you might be murdered by criminals any day...... What a topic of discussion! Death is such a scary reality. We tend to live in denial – postponing the time to come to terms with it – until we have to. I am sending you love, empathy and my best wishes.

      @ Deborah Brooks - That is the million dollar question: Why do they murder the feeders (mothers) of all people in the country? What was the words of Jesus while he was hanging on the cross? “Father forgive them because they don’t know what they are doing.” Thanks Debbie, and also, again, for promoting me and this hub. You are a dArLiNg :)

      @ DDE – Many things were wrong in the previous regime, but the wrongs we are facing now seem to be more wrong. I envy you!

      @ Eiddwen – Thank you. I appreciate your visit.

    • MartieCoetser profile imageAUTHOR

      Martie Coetser 

      6 years ago from South Africa

      My dearest Nellieanna, sorry you had to wait 20 hours for my reply. I have too much on my plate, I know, but I simply hold on to the motto: “Rather late than never.”

      I grew up with the Christian principle, “Do to others what you would like them to do to you.” But at the same time I have learned the hard way NOT to expect anything from others. Unfortunately too many idiots in our country have never heard of this rule. They were raised to have no qualms of conscience. We can spend a lifetime finding and dissecting the reasons, but that would be a waste of time. Crisis management and trying to create a better future is what everybody’s supposed to do.

      At present municipal workers in one of our regions are on strike because they want a raise in wages – which they certainly deserve, but can’t get because the salaries of the managers and too many embezzlements are already exceeding the budget. (And this is an ongoing crisis going from region to region in all sectors. Incompetent management down here is the order of the day.) So the strikers are killing each other – or rather the Baddies are killing the decent people who are not willing to play their game. They have set a city hall on fire as well as other properties, they have plundered shops, etcetera, etcetera, and the Police are totally paralyzed by the very constitutional law you have mentioned – “Everyone deserves the basic human rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness....” The rest of it is apparently beside ‘their’ point: “.... which doesn't impinge on others' rights to the same.”

      Really, Nellieanna, we can but only wonder when, how and where the idiots down here will find the intellect, wisdom, insight and vision to BUILD instead of destroy.

      I really don’t see any light at the end of the tunnel.

      Oh, and today’s newspaper reported another lady in her 80’s was found murdered in her home right here in my hometown. But as I’ve stressed in my hub, this kind of thing happens daily all over the country.

      Very depressing! Considering the fact that Apartheid, including white government, ended in 1994 and that the original inhabitants are ruling the country now for 19 years, one has no clue in (this) hell what the future holds.

      Sorry for this negative reply. But in this specific hub it would be feigning not to mention all of this.

      Take care, my dearest Nellieanna :)

    • Amy Becherer profile image

      Amy Becherer 

      6 years ago from St. Louis, MO

      As always, Martie, you have poured your heart and soul into another outstandingly informative and introspective piece. I've also noticed an alarming increase in the rate of violent crime in my neck of the woods that corrolates with the miserable state of the economy. Here, I get a sense of desperation as the motivating factor in the rising crime rate. There will always exist a percentage of legally insane that kill for the sake of killing. The Friday before Mother's Day a 2 a.m., a very disturbed man, the father of 6 by 3 different women (leading me to wonder about the mental capacity of the women), purposely set fire to a home in Percy, IL, killing 4 young siblings. The family knew him, but the reason for his heinous act remains unknown. He is a known alcoholic. When I ponder the reasons for what appears to be senseless crime, I look at the high rate of addictions that control so many people. It seems that whatever the drug of choice , people lie, steal, or kill to feed an addiction. It alters the brain and body, changing perceptions, needs and desires, with the drug becoming the solitary focus of an addict's life. There is, literally, nothing else an addict wants than the next fix and there is nothing they won't do to get it. Despite friends and family that claim the unaltered person would not be capable of their crimes, the addict is. Here, in St. Louis, the majority of violent crime involves either the chronically mentally ill or drugs addicts. Unfortunately, statistics don't offer much in the hope for solutions.

      Great article, Martie, that was not only interesting and informative, but thought-provoking.

    • kallini2010 profile image


      6 years ago from Toronto, Canada

      Hi, Marty, this is quite a disturbing fact. Makes me appreciate Canada and , especially, Toronto all the more - one of the safest cities in the world.

      I would not be able to picture what you were describing, if not for the film "Disgrace" starring John Malkovich. It was based on the novel of J. M. Coetzee as I mentioned to you before.

      Life is precious, yet it was always cheap. It was only recently that people have risen to the understanding that we no longer should certain things to happen, such as Holocaust or World Wars. But since then there were wars and there will be wars. I think the situation in South Africa can be describe as the guerilla civil war (undeclared, formless, hard to fight; therefore, all the more effective.

      To win, the whites should have the guts and the determination to fight. Farmers by definition are always vulnerable. For example, the Russian Revolutionary Forces had no big trouble exterminating farmers. Later they exterminated the whole agriculture and now the country imports food.

      And in war, one has to be prepared to lose the very same thing that you said matters the most - one's life. I am not preaching, as I have no answers to the situation in your countries. I just know how people win.

      "The whole secret of existence is to have no fear.

      Never fear what will become of you, depend on no one.

      Only the moment you reject all help are you freed." Buddha.

      I think also the problem of being divided is partially due to the hope that even if it happened to my neighbour, it will never happen to me. The white population must be pushed to the limit of its patience to fight back.

      Honestly, your hub is the most disturbing thing I've read in months.

    • Eiddwen profile image


      6 years ago from Wales

      Wonderful Martie and another for me to vote up without a doubt.


    • DDE profile image

      Devika Primić 

      6 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      MartieCoetser, you are so right about SA and I ma so pleased to have left SA when I chose to, unfortunately I have my family still living back home it is still my home in my heart but the country is ruined and sadly it may never be the same again like it once was free of such crimes. So much has changed there and now that I am in a much better place I appreciate my life an my freedom. You have got me thinking my hometown, well stated.

    • Deborah Brooks profile image

      Deborah Brooks Langford 

      6 years ago from Brownsville,TX

      Martie.. hello and good morning.. what a great hub.. you are so right Life Matters.. it should matter to everyone.. but unfortunately it is not the case.. it is so sad all those deaths.. it seems like it is escalating.. and one questions why do they want to kill the farmers?.... that is where our food comes from?

      God bless you for writing this

      blessings my friend



    • MartieCoetser profile imageAUTHOR

      Martie Coetser 

      6 years ago from South Africa

      TO ALL

      I woke up this morning, realising that I should assure you that ALL people in SA are not barbarians with no respect for life. 90% (and even more) are law-abiding citizens, adhering to laws and rules and civilized norms. We are well-known for our kindness and compassion towards all people. According to my personal comprehension only 10% of each and every culture falls in the category ‘barbarians’ - uneducated, uncivilized and eager to harm their fellow-man.

      So 10% would be –

      4,100,000.00 - Blacks

      450,000.00 - Whites

      450,000.00 - Coloureds

      120,000.00 - Indians/Assians

      28,000.00 - Others

      To classify them all as criminals might be unfair – we need statistics from courts and prisons. But I am afraid these statistics might prove that 20% of all people are barbarians.

      Also keep in mind that the Intelligent Quotient of a crowd equals the lowest individual Intelligent Quotient....

      Thanks for all your comments. I’ll be back to reply asap :)

    • picklesandrufus profile image


      6 years ago from Virginia Beach, Va

      well thought through hub. After being diagnosed with cancer years ago, "what matters" became crystal clear to me and it hasn't changed.

    • MickeySr profile image


      6 years ago from Hershey, Pa.

      Martie ~ your hub has a math reading problem quality to it . . . those school room math reading problems would get you to 10 + 27 - 3 = ? by telling you of 'if a train carrying 27 people traveled 10 miles . . . etc' - you demonstrate to us that murder, rape, violence against others matters because life matters . . .

      life matters = violence against others is evil.

    • Faith Reaper profile image

      Faith Reaper 

      6 years ago from southern USA

      You are the cream of the crop! Wow, Martie, you really should think about writing a book or making a documentary based on your personal experience or life. I really love your motto about not focusing on the dark side and appreciating and enjoying the good.

      Hugs, Faith Reaper

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Hi my dear Martie, what a sad, sad, situation, and something only those of us who have lived in it can understand. I am eternally grateful that we left it when we did, but I grieve for all those who have to live it every day. I still have relatives there too, and the prospect of them ever coming here is Nil. In 1992 I went back. I swore it would be the last time, and I have never visited again. My home is always open to you here, as well, my dear, you know that. This is an eye-opening hub for those who truly can never understand the way others have no respect for life.

    • MartieCoetser profile imageAUTHOR

      Martie Coetser 

      6 years ago from South Africa

      @ Docmo – I will never be able to understand how a person can get it over their heart to kill another person. I was so shock when I saw – in my search for pictures for this hub - the pictures of victims on the Internet. It is my habit to turn my head away – to spare myself shocks. I don’t even read the newspaper; when I do, I am upset and negative for days. So I’ve decided not to shock my readers with one of those pictures proving the brutality of people lacking respect and love for fellow human life. How totally heartless and brainless must a person be to torture and mutilate a living person to death? Oh, this is too sad and horrible. You have no idea! Thanks for the hugs.

      Oh, I must add. They blame Apartheid and the fact that they were oppressed and deprived of proper education. But Afrikaners were oppressed for ages and deprived of proper education by the British and they never became brutal criminals and murderers. Of course, here and there we had – and still have - a psychopath.... Anyway, this topic drive me to tears! Your hub on this topic ‘What Matters’ was a mental and emotional boost.

      @ SidKemp – Thank you so much for your profound comment. I must emphasize: “... when we have life, we must create specific, positive, nourishing meanings in our own life today.” For some reason too many people down here see more meaning and money in crime than in anything else. And somehow – too complicated to explain - law enforcement and the juridical system are not in charge.

      @ Gypsy Willow – Thanks. We are all trying our best to keep safe.

      @ Mr B – True, we have the most beautiful country – and thank you for taking me to places I have never been before, and for the fabulous camera. Charmer :)))

      @ hawaiianodysseus – Thank you for your sensitive and profound comprehension of my hub. We can but only hope that the pendulum will eventually settle to the level of peace and contentment. Maybe in 20 years? I don’t see any light in the tunnel. Aloha :)

      @ Faith Reaper – Alarming is the word. The number of immigrations of whites has multiplied since 1994. Affirmative actions deprived our children of a future. They leave school/college/university with no hope to get a job. So they leave the country – in fact the continent - to become laborers elsewhere. Parents and grandparents stay behind, knowing that they might never again see their offspring.

      Unfortunately immigration is not so easy anymore. Countries such as Canada, Australia and Britain only welcome the cream of the crop. Actually since the beginning their requirements – inter alia money and university degrees - are too high for most of us to meet.

      So yes, we are kind of stuck in the mud, waiting to be robbed and killed.

      But I refuse to focus on the dark side. Exercising proper precaution, ignoring the bad and appreciate and enjoy the good, is my motto.

      You are so beautifully kind, Faith – inviting me to stay with you. I am giving you a warm bear-hug - (((xxxxx))) – Yes, putting South Africa on your prayer list will be appreciated by millions down here.

      @ Jools99 – If we ignore the crime and all incompetent leaders wreaking havoc as far as they rule, South Africa is a paradise. I am happy, though always alert. Thanks for your encouraging comment.

      @ always exploring, my darling twin :) Having the most wonderful relatives, friends AND boyfriend, a comfortable home, car and job, AND the privilege to communicate with you – with all of you – is enough to keep me happy until the end of time. What more do I need? Even in the most civilized country Death can end my Life in a second. Wonderful to know I have the most wonderful friends online. Love you lots.

    • Nellieanna profile image

      Nellieanna Hay 

      6 years ago from TEXAS

      My dear Martie, Cyber-Daughter. This is an exceptionally good hub. You've given it much pondering and it has profited from that!

      Yes, yes. LIFE is what matters, and life is in each ticking moment in which one breathes and is able to do what one can and to use the alive moments to contribute, as well as to stay alive so that one can continue doing so. It is unselfish to guard life, both one's own and those of others,m but there is wisdom in - as one is cautioned on airplanes, - in case of emergency, put on your own oxygen mask first, so that you're alive to help others, especially those less able to help themselves. Trying to put theirs on first does little good if one perishes just when they need more assistance!

      The turn of your WHAT MATTERS spotlight to the horrible deeds & violence rampant in your country (and in too many others, even here in my own) is a necessary step to be spotlighted in the interest of LIFE. If we aren't safe in our own environments, - again, how can we be fully contributing to the welfare of others and of our Earth?

      So many activities nowadays are unreasonably bound by concerns for simple personal safety. Time was, one could leave the doors unlocked, even when away for a period of time. That's only one small example of the differences now. Now, one needs all kinds of precautions to try to assure basic safety, and even then, a malicious ravaging mentality of too many people walking around will be undaunted. This matters greatly, certainly not just in the protection of contents, - things, - but to protect LIFE.

      However, it much be noted that whenever others seize the freedom to violate property, they also feel free to violate life. It goes hand-in-hand. One's property is in support of one's life. It is right that both should be protected and free from fear of malicious attack.

      Everyone deserves the basic human rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness which doesn't impinge on others' rights to the same.

    • MartieCoetser profile imageAUTHOR

      Martie Coetser 

      6 years ago from South Africa

      @ marcoujor – Yes, I felt my heart and soul went into this, but I had to pull it back in order to LIVE a normal life with a happy and grateful attitude until I die. Thank you so much for your love and support :)

      @ sallybea – Yes, nothing is more precious than life. Everything else is luxury we take for granted until we lose it. I think we in SA have to find solutions for our problems in James A. Baldwin’ quote: "The most dangerous creation of any society is the man who has nothing to lose." Thanks for your supportive comment, Sally :) Please, keep on hoping and praying.

      @ mckbirdbks – So very true: “You cannot fight statistics but you can ignore them and hope that you do not contribute to them.” And you are also right about music. But (and in fact fortunately) it is no longer my alpha and omega. I had to step back to allow the younger generation to fulfill their dreams. Now I am living music through my grandchildren while I enjoy so many things I have never had the time for. Thank you, mckbirdbks :)

      @ billybuc – Of course, living without love must be absolutely awful. Emotional hunger and thirst. Fatal! Thanks, Bill, for coming over for the read :)

      @ bravewarrior – This monthly pondering is like fishing for thoughts in my subconscious. I don’t have an idea what I will get on the hook. Then comes the bite and sometimes the actual catch is too big for my net. Like this month’s. Violent crime in SA is just too much of a monster to fit in a hub.

      Here is some recent INTERNATIONAL STATISTICS. Scroll down and you’ll see South Africa on top of the lists.

      @ skye2day – How nice to see you in my corner :) So good to see that you are still sparkling with godly love and praises. You must be an angel :)

    • always exploring profile image

      Ruby Jean Richert 

      6 years ago from Southern Illinois

      Martie, Life matters and you must feel it more than the casual reader. Looking at the beautiful scenery in Africa, who would think about hate and racism? I must admit that i was ignorant statistically about the turmoil in South Africa. I will never understand why people of all races can not live together in harmony. You touched upon other important factors that matter, a job, a car, a home, family and friends, i agree. We need them all to be happy. I learned so much from your hub. I love and respect you deeply. Take care my friend,,,

    • Jools99 profile image

      Jools Hogg 

      6 years ago from North-East UK

      Martie - this is about more than 'life' clearly and is all the more intriguing a read because of it. I found your discussion on the crime figures startling and you make some really good points about your own understanding of the statistics. You have told me more about South Africa in this article than I ever knew - I would need an encyclopedia! And best of all, it is YOUR experience of your country and its good and its bad - I learned so much here, thanks. Martie - stay optimistic, keep smiling!

    • Faith Reaper profile image

      Faith Reaper 

      6 years ago from southern USA

      Oh, my goodness, dearest Martie!

      Whew, you have stated it all here precious heart! Yes, it is "Life" that really matters without a doubt.

      Thank you for sharing about the amazing Sunette here.

      Oh, me. I am so very disturbed at those murder statistics dear one, how alarming to say the least!!! If you want to come and live over here, you are more than welcome to stay with me or I am sure there are many who would welcome you. You may be pulled into a million directions!

      What a glorious hub here. You have outdone yourself on this one, and your perspective is once again beyond amazing.

      I am going to start praying each day for protection over you and that the murderous hearts of men be changed. I had no clue how dangerous it is in your area of the world.

      All my love, Faith Reaper

    • hawaiianodysseus profile image

      Hawaiian Odysseus 

      6 years ago from Southeast Washington state

      Hi, Martie! You brilliantly wove your pondering and the shocking situation in South Africa into a literary braid of compassion and social activism. I had no idea, and now I am better informed. Thank you for YOUR courage in writing this. It appears the pendulum in SA has swung radically to the other side...there needs to be a greater equilibrium and peace for all. Other than the usual "Thank you for sharing," I find myself compelled to add, "Please be safe!" Life indeed does matter! Aloha!


    • profile image

      Mr B 

      6 years ago

      Excelent hub Martie, with all this and more hapening around us I still belive we live in the most beutiful country on earth. How can I not think so???? It is where I were borne and met the most wonderful women that do that took these beutiful photo's.

    • Gypsy Willow profile image

      Gypsy Willow 

      6 years ago from Lake Tahoe Nevada USA , Wales UK and Taupo New Zealand

      what sad statistics! Keep safe.

    • SidKemp profile image

      Sid Kemp 

      6 years ago from Boca Raton, Florida (near Miami and Palm Beach)

      Yes, life matters. And therefore, so does peace. And I like Viktor Frankl's addition, in Mans Search for Meaning - that, when we have life, we must create specific, positive, nourishing meanings in our own life today. And, sadly, also be willing to let go of them when they pass away. Voted up and awesome!

    • Docmo profile image

      Mohan Kumar 

      6 years ago from UK

      Martie- you are right. Life does indeed matter. The sad statistics you show here reveal a deeper ill that pervades any society irrespective of cast, color or creed- the lack of respect and love for fellow human life. That tragic entity that is murder is eternally shocking and brutally real. If indeed we all learn to celebrate life- both our own and others... the world may be a better place. hugs.

    • skye2day profile image


      6 years ago from Rocky Mountains

      Martie Dearest sista This is absolutely a stunning piece of work you have composed. You are still one of my most favored writers. God truly works in you to touch so many hearts in truth and love. I love this Martie and I love you. May Gods favor continue to shine on your life each day in Christ Jesus. Thank You for a beautiful read to start the day. Hugs Galore Skye

    • bravewarrior profile image

      Shauna L Bowling 

      6 years ago from Central Florida

      Martie, I agree - Life is what matters. I have no idea where I would have gone with the theme this much. You narrowed it down with your pondering, pondering and pondering some more. And then you gave us an education on top of it. It's so sad that life doesn't matter to so many people in so many parts of the world.

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 

      6 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Life and love, Martie. Those are the Big Two in my life....great perspective my friend. Loved your reflections.

    • mckbirdbks profile image


      6 years ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas

      Hello Martie, this is certainly a roller coaster ride of emotion. No doubt about what is on your mind in this topsy-turvy world we all live in. Somewhere in a subcategory way below the heading of LIFE is a subheading known as music. From my tiny knowledge, I think this is what matters to you. This is just an observation from reading other of your writing. You cannot fight statistics but you can ignore them and hope that you do not contribute to them.

    • sallybea profile image

      Sally Gulbrandsen 

      6 years ago from Norfolk

      Having lived in SA, been burgled five times in one year, had two cars stolen and met the burglars twice, one realizes that life is indeed very precious. To me, things are just things. It takes time to learn that possessions are exactly that, just things, To those who live in a society where things are so coveted, explaining this to the people who have nothing left, no purpose and nowhere to go, I wonder if they share my opinion Martie! Perhaps this is why the crime persists. Our perspective on life, I believe is as individual to each person and it is to their own particular circumstance. I am saddened to read the statistics you quote as some of my beloved family still live in SA! One can only hope and pray that things will improve for all of you.

    • marcoujor profile image

      Maria Jordan 

      6 years ago from Jeffersonville PA

      Dear heavens, have taken the subject of 'What Matters' and thoroughly dissected it into the true 'nuts and bolts' of the issue --LIFE.

      Your picture used throughout is grounding, literally and symbolically.

      The horrifying statistics you have shared makes me sad, yet so much better informed. It surely puts our every day worries into great "perspective".

      You put heart and soul into this...I could feel your thought processes unfold as I read this! Brava...Voted UP and UABI. Hugs, Maria


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