I was fascinated by school. From day 1 I enjoyed learning new things and making my teacher happy. I had a strict upbringing, and my mother was especially hard on me when it got to my personal neatness and the state of my ripped shirts. We played running-red-rovers during break.

A young boy, gradually turned into a pleaser, which for the most part of my school career is what I was. A good student. It was the safe route, the path that kept me out of trouble and if my Afrikaans parents were right, would lead me to a successful career and life.

I suspect, good pupils become good and upstanding citizens. You know, the kind that pay their taxes, drive within the speed limit, leads by example and goes to church on Sundays. Basically, a person who tries to be kind to his or her fellow mankind.

But is this necessarily a good thing? Is it not a pleasant way of disengaging in this game of life? When I was young, I was fascinated by the neatness of our towns, parks, municipal facilities schools and my general view was that as a country we were pretty much moving forward. Of course, I knew nothing about politics and how shattered the system really was back then.

Today, I realised, we have failed as a nation. After 27 years of being pleasant, patient, and good law-abiding tax paying citizens, we have allowed our country to decay into a slum and we have a weak government making decisions about our future. It suited our politicians that we were peace-seeking-law-abiding-weaklings because weak people show no resistance to bad governance.

Stop taking the safe road, and please stop teaching your kids to listen to everyone appointed into roles of authority. Instead take a stand and object to those new electricity and water hikes imposed on you, arrange a march against the closure of your local library, paint a sign and get your neighbour to join you. Get involved in our democracy and demand excellence! We sure did many years ago.

Clear your throat and put your hand up. Or leave it as not to make a fuss, in which case there will be nothing left to fight for anyway.