We often hear the phrase “Don’t bite the hand that feeds you.” However time and time again I hear of stories where people have done just that. It saddens me when I hear the stories and it infuriates me when it happens to people I know or when the people I know are the ones doing the biting.
This evening Tania and I went out for supper, and once again we heard stories of people abusing the trust, kindness and charity of others. Something struck a chord in me tonight, somehow this seemed more personal. Not because I knew either of the parties very well, it was the fact that it has happened again in our town. I love this place and I am passionate about Port Alfred. I enjoy the fact that I can afford to live here and ply my trade. Many people dream of retiring to a place such as this and yet there are a fortunate few of us that manage to make an honest living down here. Then you hear the stories of people that are anything but honest. The people who talk the good talk and manage, as if by some magic trick, to distract your attention whilst eroding away the opportunity they have been blessed with and taking advantage of a position of trust. What is fortunate for us locals is that cretins who display such behavior are few and far between and being the small town it is they are very quickly exposed for what they are. The tables turn and they either leave this town or slink into relative obscurity and find it very hard to conduct an honest or successful business here. Sure they might still swagger around as if nothing ever happened, play the victim, or bluntly deny that they are capable of any wrong doing. However as Tania always says: “The results are incorruptible.”
The good people rise to the top, the honest, hard working people here with a little emotional intelligence, caring hearts and genuine concern for their fellow citizens succeed. They may get knocked down, or loose out but they have touched enough people that they will quickly find a hand out there to lift them back to their feet and encourage them to try again. These are the people who will stand up, dust themselves off and move forward having learnt a valuable lesson and hold no grudge. They have the ability to look for the little good in every situation and keep on the good work they have started. I know our town to have far more good people than traitors. However I guess we are a port town and the old ports brought along all sorts of miscreants. They would sail in on the ships and stay a while until the good folks drove them out. History has a way of repeating itself, and there are enough good people here to maintain our integrity and drive out those who attempt to abuse our hospitality.
I, along with many of my friends of a similar age, have found Port Alfred to be a wonderful town to set up a business. The people are loyal, they are understanding and friendly. There is a sense of community if your care to get out and engage rather than hide in your comfort zone. There are many success stories and they all have a common thread. Under Promise, Over Deliver, Just be Honest, Care Deeply and Live with Integrity.
Port Alfred is a small town that looks after the people who live here. However one must not expect handouts or unwarranted favours. Do not expect to succeed if you are not playing by the rules, and most importantly do not bite the hand that feeds you.