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'Non nobis solum nati sumus'

This quote by Marcus Tallius Cicero is Latin for ‘not for ourselves alone are we born’. It is derived from a sentence in Cicero's most influential philosophical work, his treatise on duties. The full statement reads "Not for us alone are we born; our country, our friends, have a share in us". This is a very noble statement and should be a world pledge if there ever was a need for one.


Children sometimes instinctively show traits of service to others. We see this when they are generous, empathetic and helpful for no obvious reason, even to people who they may be meeting for the first time. It begs the inference that perhaps, this ideology is actually natural and very different from the tendency we have as adults to pursue personal gain as a priority more often than not.


Perhaps this disposition to pursue selfish interest is more from nurturing and what the world needs is better nurturing. What better time is there to start nurturing than when we’re most malleable, as kids. Like all of us, children sometimes need to be guided into remaining true to being empathetic and kind. Non nobis solum nati sumus is a saying that should be kept to heart, because none of us are born to serve only our own purposes. We all have bigger purposes that includes serving those around us, our family, friends, country and a generally greater good.


Someone who knew this and dedicated his life to the death for it was Steve Biko. In the African Colonial Era and just after it, Africa saw the majority of its young citizens at the fore front of change. Steve Biko was one of such revolutionary leaders who dedicated his 30 years into giving himself to more than personal gain. He died in this struggle against the Apartheid system in South Africa.


Although generally, the youth do not seem at the forefront of political power in today's Africa, we see great strides of the youth in business, economy and innovation.


How much do your kids know about South Africa’s Apartheid struggle and the people who fought for it?



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