…And not a drop to drink!
As you will know, especially if you are a resident of the Western Cape in South Africa, Cape Town faces a dramatic drought and water crisis. Residents have had to drop their daily consumption to 50 litres or less per person to hopefully avoid what has been coined ‘Day Zero’ or the day the taps will be turned off and water distribution will occur through designated water points. It seems inconceivable that an international city could run out of water, yet could become a reality.
I thought I would wade in on this topic, as many others have done. I have no intention of wailing out “why oh why” as I beat on the doors of the government in defiance. In a time like this, such a blame-game would be absolutely useless. There will be a time for tough learning and finger pointing. Now is not that time. What I would like to focus on is the upside, because there ALWAYS is one.
I live in a town called Grabouw, which is in Elgin – an area just outside the Cape metro . We are a largely farming community, producing vast quantities of the country’s apples and pears. As luck would have it (and maybe the reason we moved out here) is that it is also a significant wine producing area. Our cool climate produces beautiful white wines and some interesting emerging reds too.
On a tour of a local wine farm last year, I learnt something absolutely fascinating. Lush, highly watered grape vines bestow their bounty into the leaves – a display of abundance and growth. Yet, in times of water lack or liquid famine, the vines do what we do – fight to preserve the life of its children, the grapes. All the available vital fluid is channelled into the offspring and this creates the most exceptional flavour. It is the struggle for survival that deepens the quality of what is produced. In this case, the farmer purposefully starves his vines to make magic in the bottle.
What an excellent analogy for the human growth process! What an important lesson in a time of drought. When we are denied an abundance of something so vital, what we are left with is a stronger sense of who we are and why we are here. We come up with resilient ideas to not just survive, but to thrive. In the realm of business and organisational development, the same is true. Tough times build our character and challenge our creativity to new heights. Lushness just makes us lazy.
So let’s use this interesting time to not bemoan what we do not have, but to celebrate the amazing things we can do when we have just a little.