The reason I am writing about bucket lists (things you want to happen before you exit this world) is that I can now cross off two items from my list as they have both happened in the last year.
1. My soccer club, Chelsea, winning The Champions League, once in my lifetime. They did so last year more as a result of luck than anything else but they did it. So for one year I have bragging rights and they are four points ahead of Manchester United at the top of The Premier League at the moment.
2. Seeing a leopard in the bush and being the first to come across it. That happened last weekend in the Pilanesberg and it has never happened to me before. I have seen an ear behind a rock as the tenth vehicle to enter the lock; but here in the evening sunlight was a young female leopard in full view crossing the road slowly and looking back at my binoculars before disappearing into the grass. If the vehicle had arrived a minute later, we would have seen nothing.
So, this got me thinking what else do I want that is unusual. Obviously, as a parent and a grandparent I want my children and children's children to do things I could never have achieved. Above all, I want them to be happy. But what are the other eight things that I would like to happen before I meet my Maker?
3. I must take my wife on a trip to somewhere exotic which is a complete surprise. My visits to other countries have tended to be for family or business reasons. I have never done anything crazy like going on a yodelling tour in the mountains around Vienna. You are never too old to learn to yodel.
4. I would like the fox to be as iconic as the hedgehog in American leadership circles. Jim Collins won well-deserved praise for his book Good to Great which showcased the notion of having one big vision and focusing on it. I want to make the idea that you need the mind of a fox which picks up the flags of imminent change and has a quick response to them as popular as Jim's to be a visionary hedgehog. You need both qualities to feature as a good leader today, especially in these volatile times.
5. A cure for HIV/Aids during my lifetime definitely sits on my bucket list, having met so many exceptional people involved in the fight against this epidemic. I want to overcome the heartbreak of young kids having to look after families because both their parents have been killed by the virus.
6. I would like to see South Africa ranking alongside New Zealand, Finland and Norway as one of the least corrupt countries in the world. At the least the media here have put the issue of corruption and waste on the table. Now we need to get rid of it. Morality starts at the top.
7. I want one South African, black or white, to come up with one product that takes the world by storm and thereby to become the next Steve Jobs. Why should America have a monopoly on ingenuity? Chris Barnard had the whole world gobsmacked with his first heart transplant. We need a repeat which puts South African business firmly on a par with the best the US, Europe and Japan can offer.
8. One of my most passionate desires is for the mindset of this country to change about entrepreneurs. If we want real economic democracy and freedom, it has nothing to do with changing the ownership of the mines and banks. It has everything to do with creating the space and the support system for small enterprise to flourish.
9. This may be a long shot, but a world-wide debate on where our planet is heading needs to take place. Can we afford 10 billion people by 2050 and if not, what are we going to do about it? Remember the first billion was reached just over two centuries ago. Our success at reproducing ourselves as a species has led to other problems - the disappearance of many other species and the imminent breakdown of large chunks of our ecosystem. There is no Plan(et) B.
10. I just wish the Proteas could be like Chelsea and win one Cricket World Cup without choking. We must congratulate them on being at the top of the rankings, but hey, you've got to win a grand slam event to be hailed as a superstar.
My bucket list may have a hole in it but that is my best shot at hopes before I shuffle off this mortal coil.
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