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I am one of the people who not only believe in the power of collective wisdom and collective healing but also that the salvation of South Africa, which is currently depicted as a "country at war with itself", lies in group wisdom and healing. I believe that the most deprived and violent person could be changed and healed by becoming part of a group where he/she is unconditionally accepted, respected for whom he/she is, emotionally and spiritually nurtured and empowered to develop their own talents. I have seen this time and again happening in a youth development programme using the performance arts to help street children, youth from poor communities and youth offenders on their path to self-actualization and thus to become the best they can be. I have for example seen a youth who is new to the programme, opening up emotionally sharing with a hall full of youth the heartache of not having any family and another youth to get up and tell him that he must not cry because now he is his brother. By going through this emotional healing process these group members have truly become like brothers and sisters to each other. It is through the power of the group that many violent youth changed out of brotherly love and respect for the feelings of the group members. For example if a new youth is aggressive and loud the group tells him to please not behave that way because he scares them. By developing an emotional bond with the group he will aspire to become less violent and more loving and respectful. In this way the youth is being re-socialized to accept the values and the norms of the group. By being accepted, loved and respected by the group members and encouraged to develop his unique abilities he learns to love and respect himself and not only to aspire to become the best he can be but also to in return help others to become the best they can be as in the movie "Paying it forward”. This is the true power of the group that I believe could help save the youth of South Africa who is growing up in deprived violent communities where they have nothing, no love, no self-worth, no hope, and therefore live as if they have nothing to loose. I see in my minds eye youth from all over the world who share these spiritual values reaching out and touching the broken battered youth of South Africa. What do you think? Is this possible and could it make a difference in their lives or the life of just one young person?

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