Best Thing Why I choose to stay! Messages of hope and love for South Africa!
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We asked a simple question… the response was incredible and certainly left us with our hearts feeling much warmer.


Johannesburg, South Africa (02 November 2020) – Mainstream media can often make us feel like we’re on the losing side of a long battle with stories of poverty, racism, hate and crime filling our newsfeeds daily and making us feel such despair.

Added to that is the year that was 2020 – filled with COVID-19 and global suffering. This thing we are collectively going through is so incredibly traumatic. A pandemic has stripped us of our normalcy and is slowly chipping away at our security, our economic stability and taking away our loved ones. It’s complicated, and there are so many moving parts, and on top of that, we all have our own battles within this that can make it feel so much harder.

It can feel very heavy, most of the time.

But then Kim Nicola Stephens – one of our favourite comical writers during lockdown – asked a simple question over the weekend “What is the best thing that happened to you in 2020?”, which inspired us to do the same and the response has been nothing short of extraordinarily beautiful.

What is the best thing that happened to you in 2020? A simple question asked... a mountain of positivity followed!
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Here were some of my answers:

  1. I met you (applicable to Kim’s question).
  2. I learnt to not sweat the small (or big) stuff because boy have we learnt to SWEAT!
  3. I learnt to be a friend to my friends who know how to be friends because true colours have been shown, and some humans are really awful.
  4. I appreciate things more now – the smallest things, time, things that make you feel better about yourself, self-care.
  5. Learning to say I love you to people who I actually love. Like I have always done it but more so now than ever. Tomorrow is promised to no one, so it’s important to tell others how we truly feel.

Stephens loved the answers from her friends and followers and loved that more South Africans were thinking about what was actually good about this year.

“A lot of good and (Tiger King) bad happened in my world. At one point all my freelance contracts dried up, which is why I had time to drink illicitly traded gin and write all that lockdown stuff… BUT the best part has to have been the time to figure out what I really want.”

We then asked the same question to the Good Things Guy followers and received hundreds of replies!

If you’re feeling negative in any way or just need a little “pick me up”, then read all the amazing comments below from awesome South Africans sharing their good things with each other:

“I survived Covid, so did hubby, we’re 64 and 66 years, and realise how lucky we were. I am so grateful to our Heavenly Father.” – Cathy Giese Ingram 

“I found the courage to hunt down my dreams. I have grown exponentially as a person and all of the uncertainty of the crazy world we are living in has forced me to reflect and make some really bold and courageous decisions – after all the best things in life are on the other side of fear.” – Bianca Lee Noel-Barham

“As a 32 year old Psychologist … i realized my dream and my passion by finishing my course and becoming a qualified Field (safari) Guide. Freelance for now but never say never.” – Rachelle Visser

“My son with brain cancer is still alive and got the best school marks ever.” – Vanessa Price

“I learnt so much more about my chronic illness because my doctor was so worried about me getting COVID. I am now on the right treatment and I can’t explain what a difference it has made to my energy levels and overall health.” – Candice Speckman 

“I’ve managed not only to survive but not witness any covid related illness thank god and may my good fortune continue.” – Mark Page

“I have gained clarity on what really matters in my life and the World! But more than anything I learned to appreciate the quietness and live in the moment! This is a work in progress!” – Sharon Burns

“Covid was the best thing that happened to me. Lockdown forced me to a standstill, forced me to relook what is really important to me, re-appreciate the wonderful man I’m married to and gave me time with my dying father.” – Chantélle Mans

“Left my toxic job and made my side hustle my full-time business.” – Crivens

“My miracle child; who the Drs told us wouldn’t make it, turned 21.” – Mariette Harris

“I was diagnosed with a brain tumour in March. After treatment the MRI in August gave me excellent results, the tumour shrunk to a mere few millimetres. I think it’s the best thing ever.” – Heidi Burger

“Learning to rest. Learning to say no. Not everything has to be done right this minute. Not rushing has been an absolute blessing.” – Marinda Van Zyl

“I started again and I’m still alive.” – West Livin

“My business picked up, surprisingly. I guess customers at home would get bored and just send orders of things they want.” – Unathi Kwaza

“Wow what a question! I learnt how blessed I am both in personal and work life, I have been retrenched but it has forced me into pursuing my goals. I have had and have amazing colleagues who’ve become family and friends. I have gotten closer to my husband and learnt what I’ve been missing with my daughter. I’ve become even closer to my mom. I’ve learnt to be stronger but also stand strong in what I believe not backing down just because I’m a more emotional person. And good and bad I’ve said goodbye to almost all my family but I know it’s for good reason and that it’s just see you soon not goodbye.” – Courtney Freemantle 

“I survived.” – Katy Roberts 

“Became a full-time freelancer which I never had the courage to do before.” – Cara Pizza

“I haven’t always known I am not really keen or comfortable around a lot of people. Social distancing really cemented that I prefer being in nature & around animals & I’m grateful for that.”  – Papa Cuba

“My son was born.” – Ratska 

“I fell in love with life again.” – Regina Phalange

“I’ve just enjoyed reading all the great responses and experiences that people have gone through this year. Smiles all the way and a reminder to be thankful for all things great and small.” – Hlengz

You can also follow the social media threads on Facebook or Twitter.

Or follow Good Things Guy for more good things!

Good Things Guy is dedicated to telling good stories & we like to share things that inspire. The award-winning platform is one of the leading good news sites in South Africa & has grown from one person with a simple idea to a full team that brings good news to South Africans every day.

Our mission has always been to change the national conversation and give South Africans a balance to the news in South Africa.

We Believe There's Always a Bit of Good
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Sources: Brent Lindeque | Kim Nicola Stephens | Good Things Guy | What is the best thing that happened to you in 2020?
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Click the link below to listen to the Good Things Guy Podcast, with Brent Lindeque – South Africa’s very own Good Things Guy. He’s on a mission to change what the world pays attention to, and he truly believes that there’s good news all around us. In the Good Things Guy podcast, you’ll meet these everyday heroes & hear their incredible stories:
Or watch an episode of Good Things TV below, a show created to offer South Africans balance in a world with what feels like constant bad news. We’re here to remind you that there are still so many good things happening in South Africa & we’ll hopefully leave you feeling a little more proudly South African. 

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About the Author

Brent Lindeque is the founder and editor in charge at Good Things Guy.

Recognised as one of the Mail and Guardian’s Top 200 Young South African’s as well as a Primedia LeadSA Hero, Brent is a change maker, thought leader, radio host, foodie, vlogger, writer and all round good guy.

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