What does the future hold?

September 22, 2016 at 8:16 pm | Posted in Australia, divisions in society, family responsibilities, Health, heritage, History, Mental Health, Politics, Religion, Social mores, Social Responsibility, Society, War and Conflict, Ways of Living | 10 Comments

 

I sat down tonight and just began to write. This is what came from my pecking at the keyboard:

 

All the news on the TV is bad. Nothing is positive. All we have is hatred, violence, intolerance, war and war-mongering, people being treated as cannon fodder. It is not a good world to live in – apart from local communities which support and nurture their residents.

 

One always must come down to the place where you live, where your family belong. Here in Australia, we have a reasonable lifestyle, though it is gradually and by stealth becoming more difficult for the ordinary person to make ends meet.

 

In the 1960s, 70s and 80s, it seems we had a golden age, though things began to change in the 1980s. There was a decent level of employment, and when one talked about employment, it related to full time positions, not to those who work only a couple of hours a week so the government can ‘cook the books’ to make itself look better. The government wasn’t working too hard to transfer financial benefits from the less well-off to the rich. We actually welcomed refugees and gave them a safe place to make their home. After Vietnam, we were not a part of any major violence in other countries. We were trying to preserve our environment and even make it better.

 

We raised our children to be tolerant and considerate of others. In Australia, education was free and available to all who wanted to improve themselves, whether through the university system or through trades with the TAFE system. We actually believed that money flows from the people upwards, to the owners of industry – who even had socially progressive policies. And so did governments, who realised it was financially better to support the poor and benefit from the taxes they paid than to demonise them.

 

But now, everything is focused on money, on the financial gains that can be made from those who have the least. A social conscience is seen as a weakness rather than a strength. The focus is on  so-called ‘trickle-down economics, where all the wealth goes to the rich but does not, in practice, benefit anyone on the lower economic scale.

 

Education, health, income support, in fact any formerly government-run social enterprise, is being privatised to companies only interested in making money, not in improving the lives of their clients. The environment upon which we rely has become the resource, with destructive mining practices instead of conservation.

 

Refugees are seen as a threat, rather than as people in need of assistance. Their presence is regarded as a negative that will destroy our society. But we have, through history, seen the great benefits brought to many nations through new blood, new ideas, new ways of thinking, and from the efforts of entrepreneurs who are happy to be safe to pursue their ideas and to develop new ways of doing things that benefit all of society.

 

The poor are seen as bludgers on the common purse. They are treated as if they have nothing to offer. But so many of them have, in the past, brought freshness and enthusiasm to the workplace when they have been given the chance to work. Now, however, they are relegated to a cycle of poverty from which there is little chance of escape.

 

The selfish and heartless policies of too many modern government have led to intolerance of those who are different, to violence against a society that has become indifferent to their frustration, to hatred of the unknown. Here in my country, they have resulted in the loss of the tradition of a fair go that so many Aussies prided themselves upon. Now, the mantra is, ‘if you don’t do what we say, then get out!’

 

I despair at our modern world. Our hopes for a brighter future for all have been shot to pieces. I see that my grandchildren will have to fight for the human rights we once took for granted – unless they become brainwashed by narcissistic and power-hungry leaders to believe they deserve to be the dregs of society. Dregs who are not entitled to the benefits the rich accrue unto themselves.

 

I wish I could be more positive. I know things go in cycles – what was once seen as normal becomes abnormal, what was once a moral value becomes something to avoid, what was once ‘good’ becomes ‘bad’, and vice versa. I hope that what is now negative changes to become positive.

 

So, I hope that my grandchildren will not become that which is acceptable today. That, at least in their local communities, something will happen to show them it is better for them to respect others, to help those less fortunate, to bring out the best in people rather than the worst, and to strive for a world that sees real justice for all instead of the false and negative world we see today.

 

What do you think of the world today? Do you have concerns for the present and the future?

 

(c) Linda Visman

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  1. Ahh yes, I’ve seen what you’ve seen but I also see it in some ways different.

    I see a man who just took on a new job as manager of a factory and distribution, that was relocated from Los Angeles to our town, the employees didn’t want to leave their close knit families to move with the company even though the company offered them a moving stipend so the company had to hire all new people. New help has not stayed more than a few days. The people in general want the pay but are lazy and will not work so production has suffered. I mean they outright say they won’t do a specific task.

    25 years ago, when I helped start up a new huge company that came into our little town in Colorado, it offered the best wages the town had ever seen, yet we could not get good help. It was insufferable. People would just not show up and if they did they were like sloths and kill time getting little done.

    More recently while working at a clinic, I was amazed at how many people will lie and cheat to get free services. They are offered jobs but there is always an excuse not to work. The farmers in our area were willing to risk hiring illegals, because they could count on them to work.

    I see that too many helping hands cause people to get lazy and they begin to expect something for nothing.

    I see people willing to work but are disrespected by those who do not. The clinic I worked for is an example. People would say they came in for “free stuff” and we would have loved to remind them that it isn’t free. Someone works very hard and it is their taxes that are paying for it, but that’s not allowed. Being in a position like that is an eye opener and can make a person resentful. I also see the old who are not too lazy still working because their income is insufficient.

    What I see is that everyone wants “free” but someone has to pay sooner or later and that is where we are now. A generation of entitlement.

    I’m not opposed to help the needy, but I think we need to go back to the old days where people had to work to live and if someone is in dire need, the church would take up a collection to help for a time until they got back on their feet.

    I see people who will snub someone they think has more than they do and say “well, you have money”. And, I must respond, “I work hard for my money”. I’m also not too proud to go to yard sales and consignment stores to outfit my home or my clothes. Almost everything I have is nice but was bought used. I have to hunt for it, but that takes work as well.

    I’ve seen poor people turn their nose up at used clothing or furniture offered them.

    I see People who need to be motivated to take care of themselves instead of waiting for others to do it for them. I’m sure there are many who do not agree with me and find my way of thinking as antiquated, but you did ask. .

    • I certainly understand where you are coming from, jolie. I have seen the same thing. There are always people who are out to get what they can from whoever will give it.
      Also, there seems to be a sense of entitlement among many who have grown up in the more affluent period before the millennium. They got what they wanted as kids and still seem to expect the same now.
      However, there are many people who are more than willing to work for what they need and want in life. I suppose it all depends on where you work, what is your social situation and whether the people you know are educated, how many of the good or the importunate that you see in life.
      Many thanks for joining the conversation. 🙂

      • Absolutely! I would like us to focus on the mind and spirit rather than giving out handouts. What’s the point of working if you can live minimally and not? I remember how many hours people would sit in our waiting areas for their “free” stuff and thinking that if they devoted that time to actually working, their lives would be far more meaningful. I tried at one point, to initiate setting up workshops to teach people how to dress for an interview, to teach skills that make them confident and marketable and I got blocked at every turn. Government agencies thought that was too much trouble. I knew one coworker that stated, “if not for them, we wouldn’t have a job”. My response, was “I can get work anywhere, anyone who really wants to work, can. I’d rather see these folks being productive than keeping me employed here.” I think that’s the helping hand we should focus on. Sometimes these folks need to feel they can succeed. Some are just plain entitled but I think most have real low self esteem.

  2. I relate to all you’ve said Linda. It can be so depressing. Life for me has become extremely localised. I know it may sound small and narrow, but that’s where I find hope and meaning and true expressions of our humanity now. I can only truly touch the the little world I live in day by day. The rest has to look after itself. For most of my working life I was part of causes and did all I could to bring relief, care and meaning to the world around me, and beyond and within. Now I’m tired and rather detached taking great comfort and peace in my small little life. Sounds rather dull, but I’m happy.

    • You have to do what keeps you sane and happy, Don. I have withdrawn from some of the many causes and campaigns I have been a part of over the last few years. I found I was not coping with all the horrors of the world.
      So, yes, I too have made my world smaller – family, friends & my local area, added to by our travels within our own country.
      Enjoy your quiet and comfortable life while you can. 🙂

  3. Something I picked up upon the other day: Henry VIII (good old ‘Bluff King Hal’) decapitated 72,000 people during his reign and still managed to die in bed with his gammy leg. Kind of makes Assad look angelic, by comparison, doesn’t it? I think we put on the rose-tints when we look back sometimes, and I doubt, myself, the existence of a Golden Age. I recall a time, not so long ago, when the word ‘gay’ meant having a good time, and the word that got you a jail sentence was ‘queer’. There was no real democracy then, either; we just weren’t so well-informed of our masters’ iniquities.

    Then came the world wide web, and with it information. We are constantly bombarded with information and it breeds mistrust. Certainly I believe that class divisions are deepening, and I believe the real threat to the next generation is civil unrest.

    I also suggest we lack one simple definition: there are refugees, there are immigrants, and there are invaders. Those zealots who want to make a new Islamic state of our homeland are a tough bunch, and we need to deal much more toughly with them.

    But I remain optimistic. Whenever I feel otherwise, I go back to the Desiderata: ‘Go placidly amidst the noise and haste, and remember what peace there may be in silence, As far as possible without surrender be on good terms with all persons…’

    The greatest victory the mendacious can achieve is your misery. Don’t please let them win!

    • So true, Frederick, about the excess of information that causes fear and division in society. It makes one want to go back to the local, rather than the global village!
      I have always loved the Desiderata. There is so much wisdom there, and peace if you can follow its tenets.
      I will not be miserable; it is just that, at times, all the world’s misery seems to bombard me at once! I get over it quickly, but sometimes it is only by writing it down. 🙂

  4. I share your concerns, Linda. You could have written this post sitting in my living room as the US faces similar challenges. I hold out hope that there will be a paradigm shift from a focus on money to a focus on heart – which is far more rewarding in the long run. I see it starting here and there as people begin to see that the only way to survive is by building community, sharing resources creatively and cooperatively. The economic struggles will hopefully unite people who find solutions on the ground level (literally and figuratively). It’s discouraging, so we have to stand up, be forces for change, and celebrate the best in each other. Otherwise, despair wins. ❤

    • Aah, Diane, if only there could be that heart focus instead of that on wealth and power, intolerance and fear!
      As you say, we need to do what we can at the local level and grow outwards from there. There is so much good to celebrate.

      • Working within our little spheres is all most of us can do, but if we all did it….
        I force myself into the heart-center, Linda. Otherwise I go to dark, hopeless places and write dark, post-apocalyptic books. 🙂 🙂


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