Key to Life

A significant part of our life is shaped when we part ways with our secondary education. It is here where friends oft part ways: the blue-collars and white-collars embark on their separate journeys. The shackles of school are lifted and we find out what Life can hold for us. The dread, the opportunity, the anxiety, the fear, the freedom!

The 21st birthday is a very noteworthy event in society today (the key being a famous symbol), and a lot happens in the three years after matric. It is this period when the safe enclosure of parents’ omnipotent wings is lifted and we are thrust onto a merciless world. It is in this period we lay the foundation for our views and opinions. It is this period where we learn to stand on our own feet, although some of us carry on hiding behind others.

We find out about Life and the workings of the world. We find out about the value of money and that people will die for a thousand rand. We find out that education is not cheap. We find out about the injustice of the world, that there are people starving on the street, living in boxes, while some of us pose for cameras’ flashes, or drive drunk from party to party. We find out that the power of politicians is tainted with corruption – some of us don’t even take notice.

We find out that we live in a beautiful world. We find out that driving to the coast only takes a thousand rand. We find out that education is the most valuable thing in this world. We find out that the bigger people are, the harder they fall. We find out that we can make a difference to people who are struggling to find their feet. We find out that friends are irreplaceable. We find out that we, the people, will have to stand together to make a difference in our country in order to lead SA.

As we grow up we are paving the twisting road of our lives until we reach the golden age that consists of living off of a pension. Along this road we will witness many events and hoard many memories.


Key to Life


You have been granted the key to life

  But wait – you have possessed it from birth

Doors constantly open a smidge: light

   Filtering into dreams, giving substance

For these dreams, you’re headstrong, you’ll fight

   You open these doors with straining body, mind

Behind them, gifts of success you’ll find.

   I have seen you grow, from previous darkness

Into the shimmering, vibrant sun’s rays

   The once fragile peachy petals, pulsating

With an urgent call to water; knowledge.

   Your rose is bathing in the sun now;

Frolicking, swaying: orange, firm, bright

   It fills my heart to the brim; with merriment:

To see your olive eyes light up in the sun

   As you dance and glide towards your dreams

You have the key to life locked inside you

   The key of happiness, success, joy, hope


Keep your eyes on the love that envelope your life:

   Taste its sweet nectar,

Listen to its daily bread,

   Hear it amidst the thunder,

Smell it constantly as you run

   Through trials and labyrinths,

See it as your beacons;

   Your guide through trouble

And your host at feasts

   Hold on to it as you flower,

Caress and feel this love;

   The ultimate key to life


Francois Hermanus Steyn – October 5th 2011


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