On the 1 August, a chilly Friday afternoon in Grahamstown, a group of elderly pensioners met with a group of Rhodes University students from the Voice of God student society at the Raglan Road Service Centre to share knowledge. What resulted was an incredibly enriching experience for all involved.
The pensioners greeted the students with a song, and those who were able leapt to their feet to dance. After everyone had taken a seat, and introductions had been made, the group began playing a Biblical guessing game, wherein one by one those present described a Bible character, and the rest of the group had to guess the character.
Thereafter, the Rhodes students brought out knitting needles and balls of wool and asked the pensioners to teach them to knit.
It is commonly said that sharing is caring. It is also said that knowledge is power. This makes the sharing of knowledge the ultimate act of power-sharing and human-caring, and so a nobly democratic endeavour in the search for human equality.
For this reason I will be eternally grateful to the elderly woman named Nombulelo, who taught me how to knit on that day.
We got a bit lost in translation at times, Nombulelo and I, but as soon as I was able to knit one, pearl one and drop one properly, she gave me a sweeping hug and excitedly showed off her prodigies’ work to her friends. “He has got it!” she cried, laughing with the others.
The rest of those present were knitting, laughing, and sharing stories. The pensioners departed pearls of wisdom on the students, and in return the youngsters sang songs for them. Everyone was smiling, everyone was laughing, and a greater sense of community would have been hard to come by.
We have all had experiences in our lives, and sharing the knowledge we have accumulated in our lives is an incredible kindness, and a great way of integrating a community. An act of kindness will always make you feel better, whether you are the giver or the receiver.