Choosing Not To Forget

Every month since January 2020, I choose a quote that resonates with me at that moment and share it with my coaching clients, past and present. I share the one from March 2022 – “War does not determine who is right – only who is left.”

I recall vividly in 24 February 2022 when the Ukraine war started - we looked at disbelief that in today’s day and age and in the midst of Covid, that such a large scale war will break out. 22 months later, “War in Ukriane” is still a permanent tab on the BBC website and I took this screenshot lest I forget.

Why should I remember and what’s good does it do? There is sad news and injustice happening all the time, most which are out of my control. I choose to flip that question around because it resonates better with me “What happens when I’ve forgotten and what harm will that do?” 

I feel that if I can remember and reflect, then I can at least learn something valuable and not be desensitized. The learning also leads to increased conviction of doing good and making positive impact where I can. I also want to actively support peace, not just mouth the words.

On 7 October 2023, the Israel-Hamas war initiated. I do not know enough of the history that lead to the present crisis but that once again, there will be more suffering, bloodshed and inequality faced by millions of innocent victims. Victims who are humans and we all deserve respect and dignity.

Zack Beauchamp, a senior correspondent at, report is headlined  “ How to think morally about the Israel-Hamas war. Massacring civilians is neither decolonization nor self-defense.” He cautions against anyone turning language into a tool of immorality – “In the quest to defend one’s own side, language is turned into a tool of immorality. It allows them to celebrate their enemies’ deaths without guilt.”

I concur with his advice that “More broadly, we need as outside observers to maintain basic human values in ourselves: to see the victims on both sides as humans, to care about suffering, and to attune our statements and activities toward finding ways forward that can improve the situation.”

For now, these are what’s on my mind – 

    • Support the preciousness of humanity
    • Choose my words and actions wisely 
    • Instil kindness and compassion
    • Seek to understand differing viewpoints
    • Not condone rhetoric and ways to dehumanize
    • To learn more about game theory
    • Going offline periodically from the news

I’m also committed to continue supporting the various causes in Hout Bay that I’ve been involved in when we return to Cape Town. I believe that taking positive action within our communities helps move the dial in making the world a better place. I stand with peace and universal humanity.

Learnings from my Old Bean