Giving birth is an interesting process. When you are a first time mother, you start getting anxious around the time indicated as the due date – that is, the date on which you are expected to have the baby. But doctors also warn that despite what modern gadgets may tell us, babies have their own time table, and they only come out when they are good and ready. What a mother has to do instead, is to make sure that she is ready to receive the baby. She has to be ready with bags packed with the right clothes so that any time the baby calls, she is not caught off guard.
The birth process is one that cannot be rushed. The pacing up and down of a father outside or within the maternity room, will not cause the baby to come out. The incessant calls from relatives, asking whether or not the baby has arrived, will not cause the baby to come out. The screams of a mother in labour will not cause the baby to come out. The baby comes when it is good and ready. All the mother can do is be patient and wait.
I thought about the birthing process in light of The Democratic Alliance (TDA) process of trying to agree a joint presidential candidate. Everywhere you look, people are trying to rush the process. The media is knocking, social media is going wild with all manner of speculation, supporters of various contending TDA candidates are growing more and more impatient by the day. People have prophesied doom and gloom regarding the process and the outcome.
But I think as in birth, the TDA ‘baby’ will come when it is good and ready. The negotiation is delicate. There are so many things at stake, most important of which is the future and destiny of our country, the future and destiny of more than 35 million people. Such a process cannot be rushed. We must exercise a great degree of patience and maturity.
Democracy is not instant coffee. It is a slow, painful and laborious process. We must give it time. We must give it understanding. We must give it all our support. Let’s not rupture the uterus in our rush to birth this child otherwise the consequences will be disastrous.