Some people call this time of the year the ‘Silly Season’. Perhaps it’s because we begin to let go of the hardships and stresses of the year and begin to unwind and relax. Or, perhaps, it’s ‘silly’ because we actually have time to reflect and realise how crazy we have become in order to just survive?

For me, it is vital that I recognise my potential at this time. Perhaps even celebrate it.

It has been a long year of pain and beauty and gratitude. Pain, in being up close and personal in the on-going rhino war. Beautiful, in that I have changed lives for the positive…both in helping children to smile for the very first time, and helping adults realise that mediocrity sucks! And what of gratitude? As I write this blog, I sit comfortably warm on my hotel balcony overlooking the ocean in the Dubai sunset. I have been paid to be here to deliver a speech on the power of the mind and our human potential. I am indeed grateful.

As the old saying goes; ‘the more you give the more you get’. No matter what you believe, this is a natural principal and one I have walked through personal experience. I was in Malawi earlier this year where I again witnessed the ‘gift of giving’. One hundred and fifty two children received life-changing surgery through the amazing work that Operation Smile does. These poor and unfortunate children are born with cleft palate and cleft lip deformities. A simple operation changes their lives forever. And it changes the lives of the surgeons, anaesthetists, nurses and the many more volunteers that make this possible. It changes them because they get to understand the gift of giving.

Then, more recently, in November, I went to Nelspruit for another Operation Smile mission. After showing young Jade how to suck the air from the face-mask that would make him ‘go to sleep’, I will never forget us holding hands as we walked into theatre. He was very scared as he clung to me. I promised him it would be okay and that I would be there when he went to sleep; be there all through his surgery; and I would be there, holding his hand, when he woke up…and I was. It is not so much what I did for him as much as it is what he did for me…humility and gratitude.

So, what can I possibly give you, the reader now? Perhaps a simple thing really: get a MyPlanet card in any Woolies store; make Operation Smile your beneficiary and every time you shop, swipe that card with the knowledge that you are changing a life…really! And it costs you nothing! Do One Thing (DOT) and be part of the ‘giving team’.

Be safe, be grateful and be humble.

My warm regards to you,


How does MySchool MyVillage MyPlanet work?

More than 800 000 South Africans carry MySchool cards.

  1. GET a free MySchool MyVillage MyPlanet card online.
  2. SELECT up to 3 schools and/or charities to support.
  3. SWIPE the card when you make a purchase at any partner store.