On 17 May I will be in Limpopo again supporting the Table of Peace & Unity. The Table of Peace & Unity (I will refer to it as the Table for easy reading) is celebrated each year in April/May. It is sponsored by a number of corporates and is supported by a number of celebrities and other well-know people. A lunch is hosted on the same day at the same time in several cities across South Africa including Port Elizabeth, Durban, Cape Town, Pretoria and Polokwane. The Table aims to promote peace and unity in South Africa. I like to think it is a celebration of what we all have in common rather than a recognition of our differences. Did you know that in many indigenous cultures the departure point (of thinking and of matters spiritual) is all that is common, the same, alike, shared?
So in Native American Indian culture, for example, both man and eagle can soar. In western philosophy and thinking the departure point all that is different. In South Africa this is reflected in the concept of the “Rainbow Nation” symbolising people from different race groups, genders, sexual orientation, religion, etc. What we fail to notice is that each colour in the rainbow is LIGHT refracted in a different way – we fail to see what joins us – our similarities. We will find if we dig a little deeper that we have common values around family and friends, that we all hurt, we all laugh, we all face challenges and all strive for a better future for ourselves and our children and so on. It always irks me when people say “you know in my culture we blah blah blah”. The same probably happens in every other culture – maybe just a little differently. So while we celebrate our individual cultures let’s also respect our shared identity and values and go forward in that sprit.
Back to the Table. The Table brings people together from all walks to sit together at one long table and break bread as a sign of peace. Breaking bread or eating from the same pot is also an age-old symbol of family, friendship and trust. The luncheon is also a fundraiser and each year the Table selects the charities that it will support. This year the funds will go to children who suffer from cancer and HIV/AIDS. I will be in Limpopo. Pick the Table of your choice and go spend the day or pop onto the website and see how you can become involved in this country-wide initiative.