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Power of many

Sailosi Batiratu
Sunday, November 26, 2017

EVERY now and then, we hear certain aspects of or practices in iTaukei culture being scrutinised. One such practice is that of solesolevaki where people will pool their resources, including their energies, to tackle work communally. This could be for the planting of a food garden for a communal function or the building of houses.

As part of the scrutiny, it is said that such communal practices which ingrain in the iTaukei and communal outlook on life which in turn do not put in good stead to take on the pressures and difficulties of a modern, individualistic world.

Those who are for continuing such practices, maybe not always in their present form, state quite adamantly that not all things from the past are bad.

They evolved, or were developed, to suit the needs of society during a time in its development. As that society develops, some practices might be outdated and ought to be discarded, which would certainly be true for some.

Like all things, there are always advantages as there are disadvantages all depending on how one looks at what is being discussed.

Take for instance the soli (monetary contributions) held by former students of Gau Secondary School yesterday. That could be seen as one form of solesolevaki.

Some, who think things such as solesolevaki are not a good thing, might put forward the thought that the money contributed to better the facilities at this rural school might have been better utilised improving the lives of individuals and that of their families.

Instead of trying to work on something "out there", it might be better to concentrate on the small things and in time when the small things are better, move on to the bigger things out there.

Another perspective might be that there will always be problems, things to be dealt with etc, on the individual and also on the home front. While dealing with your problems or issues, being involved with community projects allows one to contribute to the wellbeing of the society to which he or she belongs.

Being part of such a group also allows its members to be part of other groups within the big group. It affords opportunities, though not always, to network.

All points of view have merit. What one will need to successfully navigate this modern, and often individualistic world, is — in a word — balance.

Some things are better done alone while others are better addressed by a group. Sometimes, the best way to go about things is a mixture of both approaches.

However, the world we live in is such that there will be times when the goodwill, efforts, energies and all other positive attributes on one person will just not be enough.

There will be times when the best way to get things done is to harness or tap into the power of many.

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