A Leg in Both Worlds

South Africa is a beautiful country, but also one of great contrast.  It is clearly portrayed in the way we stand with one leg in the First World and one leg in the Third World. 

Wikipedia explain these two concepts as follows:

"The terms First World, Second World, and Third World were used to divide nations into three broad categories. The three terms did not arise simultaneously. After World War II, people began to speak of the NATO and Warsaw Pact countries as two major blocs, often using such terms as the "Western Bloc" and the "Eastern Bloc". The two "worlds" were not numbered.  It was eventually pointed out that there were a great many countries that fit into neither category, and in 1952 French demographer Alfred Sauvy coined the term "Third World" to describe this latter group; retroactively, the first two groups came to be known as the "First World" and "Second World".


 "With the 1991 collapse of the Soviet Union, the term Second World largely fell out of use and the meaning of First World has become extended to include all developed countries. By the end of the Cold War, the term Third World had shifted in English from its original meaning and became a synonym for infrastructure-poor countries."

It is the second description that I refer to when I talk about the First and Third World.  At the risk of being seen as stupid I translate the two terms into the have, and have-not countries of the world.  South Africa fits into both these worlds.

We have a well-developed nation living cheek to cheek with an underdeveloped nation (and never the twine shall meet) in that the rich live a life of excess in their First World environment while the poor live their lives of poverty in their Third World environment.  This is all too evident in the housing, education, recreation, health, transportation and general lifestyle of our people.

I experience this on a daily basis as I have contact with  both groups in my everyday life.  The one group does not have any understanding of the life of the other group and I also observe daily, with a feeling of helplessness, how the two groups relate - or rather, do not relate.   The "Haves" look down on hte "Have-nots" with disdain while the "Have-nots" view the "Haves" with envy and bitterness.  In this fertile soil of mistrust and suspision, discontent and frustration grow rampantly.

No wonder we have so much crime and violence in our country.


Blessings each day said...

I enjoyed your blog. The post on your pets was just adorable, in fact I posted today on one of our four pets. Do you have any recent pictures of the cat and dog together? You did say the cat is now bigger than the dog?

blessings on you,


A human kind of human said...

Hi Marcy, welcome to my blog. I will soon post an update on the pets. Now I am off to view your blog.

Argent said...

Your thoughts are very much in line with those of other south african people I've met. Perhaps it's made worse becuase when apartheid ended, there was a climate of expectation that everybody's lives would suddenly be better materially? And when this did not happen overnight... Thanks for sharing this thoughtful post.

A human kind of human said...

Argent, As usual you hit the nail right on the head. Those expectations were not and never could be met as they were unrealistic from the very beginning. Once the "Haves" had, the "Have-nots" were conveniently forgotten.