In This Issue (Editor’s Note)...
With just weeks to go before that longed-for, richly deserved festive season break, most people are feeling the strain of the working year. A significant percentage of the stress we experience in our jobs comes from juggling multiple relationships in a business environment, where we’re expected to be adaptable enough to work productively with many different people. Our feature, Conflict Resolution 101 (p78), explores this issue and offers valuable insights into the dynamics that make an office a truly happy, harmonious space. It also teaches us how to overcome our own negative assumptions about people and turn potential antagonists into allies.
Friends With Benefits (p134) takes this concept much further, interviewing women who met each other in a professional context and formed deep, meaningful and lasting friendships that went far beyond client and service provider. It’s an inspirational feature that celebrates not just the power of bonding, but the rich potential around us in all our roles (including our careers) to find true and trusted soulmates. November marks our eighth birthday and we can’t think of a more fitting way to celebrate than with our Power of 40 feature (p25), which again focuses on some of the brightest, most dynamic and innovative women on our subcontinent, from industry to the professions and the arts. Apart from their many achievements in their respective fields, we’re amazed at how successfully they balance ambition, enterprise, digital savvy and modern business strategies with traditional values like patriotism, spiritual growth and commitment to family.
On the subject of tradition, our feature Chief Among Us (p52) reveals some startling discrepancies between traditional and civil leaders and courts. While the concept of accommodating both tribal and modern law is a noble one, recognising the right of communities to their customary lifestyles, there are several areas in which these two approaches are incompatible and fly in the face of our Constitution. It’s a fascinating situation – and one that forces us to make difficult choices about who and what ultimately holds sway in our society. SA is by no means unique in its provision of customary law alongside a modern judicial system, but despite our chequered history of racial division and our extremely diverse population, our success in recognising, respecting and reconciling with each other’s different world views is unmatched.
Lebanese statesman Emile Lahoud declared: “Democracy, good governance and modernity can’t be imported or imposed from outside a country” – wise words that remind us that we have within and among ourselves everything we require to overcome the obstacles facing our country. All we need to do is look for it.
Have a great month!