Editor-In-Chief: Just Breathe


We should all breathe, slow down a little and appreciate the things that really matter, says Ingrid Jones, like our friends, family, hobbies…and Rio.

We are halfway through 2019, and it seems that life is just running away from us too fast. While driving in to work, I heard the talk-show host of a radio programme asking listeners to call in and comment on whether South Africa has too many public holidays.

If I wasn’t on the highway with cars speeding past, I would have pulled over to the side of the road to give him a piece of my mind. What do you mean we have too many public holidays? We should get more!

The Chinese 996-Working-Hour System

A week ago, while also listening to the radio, they were talking about the Chinese 996-working-hour system, a de facto work schedule commonly practiced in the People’s Republic of China.

It derives its name from its requirement that employees work from 9am to 9pm, six days per week.

Jack Ma, Chinese billionaire and owner of the Alibaba Group, made waves when he defended the 996 system, saying it was a huge blessing for young workers, and to teach them work ethic.

Fortunately, there was a big backlash from workers in the tech industry.

A Fine Balancing Act

Whatever your views on productivity, the world is just moving too fast. Some of us just want to slow down.

Talks of artificial intelligence (AI) taking over jobs that people have been doing for years, and phrases like the Fourth Revolution fill people with fear for the future.

It feels like we are on a fine balancing act with work and life and the ominous future. When do we make time to breathe? When do we have time to spend with loved ones?

Slowing Down

What about hobbies? No one scrapbooks anymore, because Instagram is the new memory bin, where images become Instagram Stories that will last for 24 hours.

Everything feels fleeting and dispensable. Snapchat provides filters for faces that are unrecognisable, and the latest craze is that it can change your image from female to male and vice versa.

What would my grandmother have said if she were alive? That the world is coming to an end?

So, no, we do not have enough public holidays. These holidays force us to slow down and be at home, or take longer weekends to spend time with the people who matters most in our lives.

Travel and Appreciation 

More and more people are saving up to take a trip overseas to explore the world. Most of the time we come back with a fresh appreciation of what we have, right here, in our own countries.

According to South African Tourism, there are 5,5 million potential travellers in the domestic market. Globally, domestic tourists travel to:

  • Spend time with family
  • Visit friends and relatives
  • Relax and rejuvenate
  • Change up routines
  • Explore
  • Learn new things

We need all the public holiday we can get. Last year this time, my husband and I spent a month in Amsterdam, and we came back refreshed and ready for life again.

I think it is time to take a month-long break again. This time, I think it should be Rio.

Ingrid Jones





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