Do the right thing… even when no one is watching! Proof that the International Nautical Traditions are still maintained in South Africa!
Cape Town, South Africa – Annually the world celebrates international world clean-up day and the South African Sea Cadets at TS Woltemade always participate in making their difference in repairing the damage done by uncaring planet inhabitants.
On the day the Sea Cadets reported to the unit as per normal, unaware of the special occasion that was being celebrated all over the world. The Officer Commanding, Lt Cdr (SCC) Paul Jacobs, informed the Sea Cadets that this day would be special and that all training would be suspended. The Sea Cadets were detailed off and walked in groups from the unit in Lakeside to Muizenberg with instructions to pick up every piece of litter and bag it. The area covered the vlei as well as Muizenberg beach and occupied the Sea Cadets for the full day.
During the “chicken parade” two Sea Cadets, Sea Arend and Sea Nkcitha, located an iPhone cell phone. As one would expect with youngsters they first argued over who had found it until the older one recalled the Sea Cadets Code of Conduct and an inspiring lecture they had received from Charissa Bloomberg, clinical and celebrity psychologist, on Integrity.
Sea Nkcitha challenged Sea Arend by asking him “do you remember what integrity is ?” Arend’s at that stage had a lapse of memory and was reminded that integrity is doing the right thing even when no one is watching. Both then agreed to do what was expected of each Sea Cadet in keeping with their Code of Conduct.
Earlier in the year two TS Woltemade Sea Cadets had been invited by the Honourable Speaker of the Western Cape Parliament, Sharna Fernandez, and Charissa Bloomberg, celebrity psychologist and integrity leadership training specialist, to attend an Integrity and Ethics Dialogue. This formed part of a commemorating a centenary of Nelson Mandela and Albertina Sisulu. In attendance was Prof / Adv Thuli Madonsela, Social Justice Chair at University of Stellenbosch and others who made an impact on them.
As a result Charissa Bloomberg was invited to address the ship’s company on integrity and how this could be applied in their daily lives. It is the “hidden dimension”, doing what is right while no one is watching and being one’s own conscience. Another aspect covered was to recognise bullying when it occurred and to call out the behaviour. At the end of the discussion the ship’s company recited the Sea Cadets Code of Conduct under the direction of the Officer Commanding, Lt Cdr (SCC) Paul Jacobs.
“Through Honour and Skill, I shall diligently strive to uphold the core Values of Integrity, Excellence and Service of the South African sea Cadets, all of which are embody Honesty, Morality, Loyalty, Responsibility, Accountability, Self-Respect, Discipline and Obedience.
Thus by my actions and words will I strive to encourage valuable personal attributes and high standards of conduct both within myself and in my fellow Officers, Instructors and Cadets and any other persons with whom I interact.”
When arriving back at the Unit they handed the IPhone to the OC who tracked down the owner, Rene Jan, who was abroad on holiday. She collected her IPhone upon return and promised to “make good” with the two Sea Cadets.
As a result of putting the Sea Cadets Code of Conduct, reinforced by Charissa Bloomberg’s Integrity discussion, into practice both Sea Nkcitha and Sea Arend were awarded with good conduct badges. These were awarded on a parade in front of the Unit to ensure that their good deeds were recognised and that all members of the ship’s company follow in their example.
I hope that these Sea Cadets will act as an example to others in society to do what is right while no one is watching.