My colleagues and I often care for patients suffering from hallucinations, prophesying, and claiming to speak with God, among other symptoms—in mental health care, it’s sometimes very difficult to tell apart religious belief from mental illness…. Our conclusions frequently stem from the behaviors we see before us. Take an example of a man who walks into an emergency department, mumbling incoherently. He says he’s hearing voices in his head, but insists there’s nothing wrong with him. He hasn’t used any drugs or alcohol. If he were to be evaluated by mental health professionals, there’s a good chance he might be diagnosed with a psychotic disorder like schizophrenia. But what if that same man were deeply religious? What if his incomprehensible language was speaking in tongues?
I struggle to see how anyone can resist a country where such things happen. South Africa is amazing! At any given moment, all possible futures seem entirely plausible. We are winning, we are losing. We are progressing even as we hurtle backwards. Every day brings momentous exhilarations and dumbfounding setbacks, and the sun shines brightly even in winter. Throw in the heady proximity of Mandela and Beckham, and you’re almost guaranteed a splendid time. – Rian Malan in The Observer, on why foreigners must come to the World CupBACK TO TOP