EDITOR'S NOTE

Shannon Manuel.jpg

For many of us, the end of 2017 cannot come too soon. It has felt like a 14-month year, with crises, troubles, problems and political upheavals locally and abroad. Economically, it has been another brutal year, so it is little wonder most of us spent the year gazing longingly towards December, which we all see as a brief window of respite, and a chance to escape from it all to revel in carefree summer vacation days with friends and family.

Not even the annual rebooting of Boney M. can dampen the mood, nor can dense fruitcake, jingle bells and silent nights. After all, it’s the holidays, and a chance to party hard, kick back when you so desire and, most important, enjoy as many late morning lie-ins as you have leave days on the card.

But in our own stress and despair, let’s not allow all of the merriment to wipe from our thoughts the faces of those who do not have. No matter how tough our lives are, there’s someone who has to face challenges that are even tougher than yours. These changes stretch from covering basic things like making money, getting food, or having a place to rest at night, as well as the challenge of finding and starting small-scale entrepreneurial projects as well as receiving a proper education. The two latter endeavours are challenging enough as it is, but when you throw in the battle to provide food for your family, it puts our own struggles in perspective.

The traditional Christmas time celebrations and holiday also offer each of us a great time to reflect on the year that has passed. But let us not dwell too long on the negative, otherwise, those thoughts will be doing the work of the Grinch in stealing the thunder or Rudolph, Dasher, Dancer, Dunder, Blixem and friends. Instead, take the lessons from the past year, roll them over in your mind and then file them away, taking those lessons or fresh inspiration to create some new ideas for your career or business—either a new product or service or a new way of doing something within your work.

Remember the saying that it is better to give than to receive—and use your own position, experience and opportunities to see how you can create more jobs, or devise a small project you can launch that could offer the poor and homeless a chance to make some money or at least offer them some food for their efforts.

Doing good can have purely altruistic benefits, but it can equally give back to you in abundance. Yes, we’re all crazily busy and time is tight, but if you want to give back and contribute to the grassroots development of our country, please think about using 2018 as the year to breathe life into good causes.

A big thank you to our loyal advertisers as well as all the BBQ contributors, including, of course, the South African business and leadership stars who we feature each issue. Finally, thank you to our readers who provide us with the constant inspiration to provide the best transformation publication in SA.

On a personal note, I would like to say a massive thank you to all my BBQ elves for their incredible contributions to making this issue of BBQ such a special celebration of the best talent South Africa has to offer.

A final thought I would like to leave you with, is to remember that tiny acts of kindness can go a long way, but that the true blessings of the festive season are to be found not in what lies under the Christmas tree, but rather in the hearts and spirits of the people standing beside you. The BBQ team wishes you a happy holidays and happy new year!

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