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Join the dots

As a man, I am aware that my fellow humans experience suffering.  As a boy, I knew of very little.  During my seven years in primary school I was aware of one boy who lost his brother due to an accident, and another boy who lost his father due to a thing called Cancer.  During my five years in high school I believe this level of awareness into suffering was even less. I’m not saying it did not exist, I was simply not aware of more.  Reading newspapers was not part of hockey or water polo practice and we did not have cell phones that connected us to the reality of suffering every minute of every day.

Part of my studies after school exposed me to the principles of Macro and Micro.  Yes, you guessed it – in the wonderful realm of Economics.  So many things in life have a Macro level and a Micro level – families, business, nature, government, hygiene, entertainment, etc.  Challenges and opportunities present themselves in a similar way but the context is different.  Take money as an example – a country measures GDP, a household gross revenue and a child total pocket money. In nature, one can look at the life of an ant and explore life within the colony.

There are global statistics available on Prostate Cancer and men’s suicide.

A global trend exists as a result of the trends that exist on a more Micro level.  What is happening in my community changes global trends and global trends are an indication of what is happening closer to home.  The law of averages can be trusted until changes in trends radically change the statistics.

When we read statistics like:

Suicide accounts for 17 percent of all deaths in South Africa (SA has the 8th-highest suicide rate in the world) and 5 times more males than females.

The lifetime risk for Prostate Cancer in men in South Africa, is 1 in 19.

As a man, I must join the dots.

If one in 19 men in South Africa have a lifetime risk of Prostate Cancer, then one and a bit in the group of us that play football together will be impacted.

Another vital dot to join is that I am part of the football group.  My eyesight started deteriorating in my mid-forties, my unshaven stubble is showing clear signs of grey and I recently turned 52.

We can be like I was in my youth, blissfully unaware or we can become aware through reading, discussing, sharing etc. It is only when we join the dots for ourselves and bring awareness home that we become empowered.

If my registration for the 2017 Distinguished Gentleman’s Ride brings awareness home for you then my real goal would have been achieved.  If you have the means to sponsor me, then maybe that all important Macro awareness can also be expanded, and I’ll achieve a secondary goal.


By Louis Gerke

Development FacilitatorThe Ripple Effect


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