The Old Year Ends – a look back at 2015

December 28, 2015 at 2:00 am | Posted in Australia, Making History, Migration, Politics, Psychology, Religion, Social Responsibility, Society, War and Conflict | 8 Comments
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2015 Behind the News ABC

Apart from my lovely family and friends, I must admit that I have not enjoyed 2015. Not on the state, national or international level. There hasn’t been very much to enjoy in the world of politics, religion, economics, international relations, terrorism, whatever.

With one of the defining images of the year being the body of a little refugee boy washed up on a beach, how could it have been a good year for anyone who looks beyond their own safe little bubble? I for one wouldn’t mind having another go at it to see if we could somehow change how it all went. Failing that, is the hope that last year was as bad as it will get.

TOPSHOTS Kurdish Syrian girls are pictur

Children among the destruction in Syria

I started to write a list of the nasties that happened through the year:

  • the terrorism in the name of religion that is not a religion;

  • the racism and violence in many countries across the globe;

  • the lack of support in many instances for the millions of people displaced by war;

  • the ineptitude, idiocy or corruption in too many governments in too many countries;

  • the failure to address global warming on a global scale;

  • the brain-dead far right-wingers who would prefer the whole world to collapse rather than help those less fortunate than themselves;

  • the destruction of our valuable, even precious, environments and wildlife, to feed the greed of multi-national corporations;

  • the extremes of weather – excessive cold and heat, floods, droughts, huge wildfires, hurricanes, typhoons and tornadoes, the melting of the polar ice caps;

  • the extreme polarisation in politics, race and religion, and the fear-mongering among our so-called leaders;

  • the overwhelming power of the arms industry, the far right press, and corporations in deciding national and international government policy.

Need I go on?

Of course there were good things happening too:

  • the rise of people power through social media, demonstrations and actions to show their displeasure at where the world is heading;

  • the rise of a pope who, against those Catholic extremists who would prevent him, speaks for the people, the environment, and the cessation of war;

  • the countries like Germany who have taken in tens of thousands of refugees;

  • the individuals who stand up for right when they see wrong.

not-in-my-name

We need the good so much, but it is demonstrated by individuals and small groups in small and seemingly insignificant actions and interactions, whereas the bad is overwhelming in its ability to create a sense of despair, depression and hopelessness.

However, I must concentrate on those small things and the ordinary people like me who do them, and hope they will add up to more than the bad stuff and overcome it. I must do what I can for my own sanity, but even more for the sake of my grandchildren. I don’t want them to live in the kind of hateful world that seems to be all too possible right now.

I must cling to the hope that springs eternal from the human heart. If it didn’t, I would end it now. So I hope with all my heart that, through good people standing up to corruption and violence, hatred and destruction, at least some of the horrendous problems we’ve had in 2015 will get better in 2016.

(c) Linda Visman

 

 

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A toZ Challenge – E is for Embrace the Good

April 6, 2015 at 12:05 am | Posted in Destroying nature, Gratitude, History, Poetry | 13 Comments
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A2Z-BADGE [2015] - Life is Good

 

 

I don’t know about you, but there are many times when I wonder what the world is coming to. I am concerned about wars and what is happening to our environment, the horrible things people do to each other …….

One day, I wrote a poem about it.

 

 

Embrace the Good

 

I’m sitting in my lounge room chair

Thinking about the world’s indirectness;

Reading the paper, trying to understand

All about political correctness;

I’m wondering why they just can’t call

Everything by its proper name –

But every now and then I hear

My children out enjoying their game.

I’m making the beds and listening

To ABC radio’s latest news

When I find that I’m breaking down in tears

At the things that some people choose

To do unto their fellow man;

Why does this always have to be?

But now and then a magpie’s clear song

Breaks into my misery.

I’m walking along a street in town

To the shops and to mail a letter

When I hear someone at the corner proclaim

To all his religion is better.

I despair at the terrible wars that result,

And the suffering that comes from Man’s greed –

But I look at the colourful flowers that grow

And the beauty that comes from their seed.

Sometimes the misery and grief of the world

Seem to fill up the depths of my soul,

And it’s hard to carry on every day;

When the pain is a smouldering coal.

Then someone does a kindly thing

Or I see the smile on a baby’s face,

And I realise there is much good in the world –

It’s this good that I must embrace.

(c)  Linda Visman

Share Your World – 2015 Week #8

February 27, 2015 at 12:11 pm | Posted in Australia, blogging, Gratitude | 6 Comments
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Share Your World -blog badge

 

I am a little later than usual getting round to answering Cee’s questions for week 8, but here I am now.

 

Your favorite blog post that you have written? (add link)

I’ve been blogging for a few years now, and rarely go back to what I have written, unless I need an entry for something else I’m writing. I know that the most popular of all my posts is The Long Goodbye, about Alzheimers and my father, and I think it’s a good one too. I will go with that, even though there are others that are equally good, or perhaps even better.

What do you feel is the most enjoyable way to spend $500? Why?

The most enjoyable way to spend $500 would have to be travelling in our little camper van through outback Australia. I lived and worked there for years and would love to take a reasonably leisurely trip to the places I never got to see while I lived there because I was too busy working. It is a selfish wish, and I know there are others who would benefit greatly from the money, so I am rather torn about it.

If you could know the answer to any question, besides “What is the meaning of life?” what would it be?

How can we stop war and aggression in the world?

Where do you eat breakfast?

I don’t. I have a very small snack with a coffee at mid-morning instead.

Bonus question:  What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up?

I am grateful for the support of my husband as I have been fighting a nasty bout of depression.

I am looking forward to my husband and I attending a casual dinner with our sailing association on Saturday.

Linda Visman

On ANZAC Day

April 25, 2010 at 2:11 am | Posted in Society, War and Conflict | 2 Comments
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Today is ANZAC Day in Australia, where we remember the fallen of the wars in which we have been involved. Particularly, society remembers Anzac Cove in Turkey, where Aussie and Kiwi troops endured their first major, and bloody engagements.

The following poem, “At The Museum”, is dedicated to my Dad.

He was a fighter pilot in the Defence of Britain during the Second World War, and the poem is based on actual occurrences from that time. My husband and I took Dad to the Air Museum at Narellan in May 2005 so that he could be with planes again. Though he is almost completely blind, he could see those planes in his mind’s eye – as they were when he flew them – and he marvelled at what he had done then. It was a coincidence that examples of the first and the last planes that he had flown were actually standing side by side on the floor. That is what gave me the inspiration to write the poem, and the opening lines.

When Dad “read” the poem, he said that I had taken a lot of poetic licence, and that he was nothing special. Maybe he is right – in the context of those days. There were a great many heroes then who would have scorned that title we give them today. Many fought and died. Many were wounded in body and or spirit. All were affected in some way, though in their own eyes they were just men doing their duty.

I think of them as heroes. And my Dad was one of them.

At the Museum

Vultee Vengeance and Tiger Moth

Stand side by side on the floor.

He looks at them now with a different view,

To how he had viewed them before.

He’d wanted to fly since he’d been a boy,

And with the misfortune of war got his chance.

In the machines that he flew, as his confidence grew,

He learned how to make those planes dance.

Many planes Britain used in defence and attack,

And many of these he was able to fly in.

Tiger Moth to Oxford; then Tempest and Typhoon –

But the Hurricane was the best plane to fight in.

He looks up at the Vengeance and wonders aloud

How he’d climbed up there as if on a bike;

To fly that machine with great skill and élan,

Firing machine guns and cannon alike.

He was a daredevil, and he wouldn’t deny it,

But he learned to control his high spirits.

He’d seen too many mates die when they’d lived too high,

And he’d vowed to himself he’d come through it.

The pride of the squadron he’d quickly become

Because of his skill and his daring.

He could make a plane do just what he wanted it to,

But it was because of his great love of flying.

He remembered one flight where he’d encountered a storm

And the visibility was down to near nothing.

He’d found the runway through the shining “chance” light,

And his landing, though rough, was quite stunning.

At least twice he’d flown on when he should have turned back,

With a plane whose condition was dicey.

He’d kept to the flight so he’d not miss the dance,

And his sheer skill had got it through safely.

He looked now at those planes standing next to each other,

The small Moth and the big fighter bomber,

And he marvelled again at what he used to do then

With these, the first and the last planes that he’d flown.

(c)  Linda Visman.  Originally written 21st July 2005

25th April 2010

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