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
Tags: abhorrent crime, singing, writing
Here are Cee’s Share Your World questions for Week 3
Given the choice of anyone in the world, whom would you want as a dinner guest?
I don’t really know, apart from my family and friends. I am not a celebrity follower, rarely watch TV (and even less if it’s commercial TV), don’t often go to movies or follow sports. The only possibility I could see would be an author whose work I enjoy, so we could chat about writing.
When did you last sing to yourself? To someone else?
I sang to myself a few days ago as I listened to the radio whilst doing the ironing. It’s a good way to make the job (seem to) go faster. I’ll often sing a few lines of a song to my husband when I am reminded of one that seems appropriate.
Because I know a lot of (usually) old songs, I developed a habit that he’s also taken up. When we hear a phrase or sentence that brings a song to mind, we’ll start to sing it. Sometimes we can hardly have a conversation because so many come up! We usually laugh a lot then too.
If you could wake up tomorrow having gained any one quality or ability, what would it be?
I would like to get back the passion and enthusiasm I used to have for my creative writing. It seems to have gone walkabout and I cannot find it anywhere.
What, if anything, is too serious to be joked about?
I am looking at the broader context of society here, and child sexual abuse should never be something to joke about. There is nothing funny about such a horrendous crime.
Bonus question: What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up?
Last week, we were invited to dinner by our good friends. The meal, the wine, the conversation and the friendship were all wonderful.
This coming weekend, we may be able to go out in our sailing boat to join people from our Careel Cruising Association to enjoy friendship and celebrate Australia Day, which falls on the 26th January.
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