Its not often we take the time to read up on why it is that we are making a decision, standing for a cause, committing to paint the town for KONY2012 and help US soldiers capture a man who barely has any power anymore or merely running a race.
We often make the decision because everyone else is doing it , or because some social media campaign, brand or person is inspiring us to.
At the end of the day its as easy as that, we are doing it because we are told to believe that its cool.
I can proudly say that I RAN Jozi, I came 10 kilometers closer to a new obsession, put on my racing shoes and “ took back the streets” in a rock star luminous yellow shirt with ten thousand other proud south Africans.
Whilst people from the “ streets” high fived me as I ran along the streets they lived in, the Shebeen’s they drank in. And the buildings I knew only from a distance because I had never been inside of them but remembered them from a flashing light I saw above them saying “ Coca-Cola” the most recognized brand around the world. Claiming to “ take back the streets”. In our high-tech running gear and expensive running shoes whilst others around us live in poverty, in their streets, the streets they live in - watching us run a race they could never afford to be apart of.
This afternoon I read the front page of the newspaper saying “ runners take back their streets” and I thought, how did I actually take back my streets? What did I do to make a difference? Not much actually, I ran through streets I wouldn’t usually drive through to make a statement? To be cool? Well Actually Lisa – no you ran those streets because you were making a stand for your human rights and for the people who fought for them in the past and past the buildings that have become your heritage, your culture, your South Africa. Sad thing was though, I never really thought about this before I ran the race, I just to be apart of "the cool kids".
I think the campaign over all was a huge success and a Big Up to Nike, you took your brand to the streets and you created huge awareness for your brand. Next race I hope we get to run the streets in our own clothing, or than again why do we need a race to take back the streets? We should be running those streets for the fun of it, for the sake of it because the city belongs to all of us and not just for one night because we want to be cool.
Those buildings we ran past are apart of whom we are, all the time not just on one night. I made a decision tonight after speaking to my inspirational sister that from now on I want to become an active citizen in the city and if we want to ‘ take back the streets’ we should do it by giving something back to the streets and not just running through them.
Don’t ask me what it is that I am going to do to give back just yet, all I know is that tomorrow I may not have an answer but I would have made the decision to become an ‘active citizen’ and slowly the answer will come. Lets start running our streets not just because we have something to take back, but because we all have something to give back. All I have to say is thank you to a brand for making me question something, something I just wanted to do because it was cool.
There is still a huge political, racial and economical battle in this country and as amazing as it is to run past the buildings that are apart of the reason we are where we are in this country, we must not forget that the battle is not yet over and we need to ‘ take back' our streets, we are still fighting for our streets, as a nation – to run along the same road and create new buildings and monuments to show our growth as a country.
10KM’s to a new me, an active citizen who wants to give back, instead of taking.
Carry On Running South Africa, we have a long way to go to the finish line.