Looking ahead, not getting ahead


Sunday 14th June, 2020


It’s raining again. 100% humidity in winter. Mobile phones warn of moisture detected. It’s hard to recall the feeling of that last hot dry summer. The royal commission into the bushfires publishes testimonies of unimaginable horror and analyses of inadequate preparations and responses, yet,  I can’t fully remember or reimagine what it was like, back then. There is the present to deal with; a new set of dramas unfolding. Disease and the economy. Systemic racism being exposed in our institutions. Not even our beloved artists are exempt from this new revision of history and culture. People are massing. Lip service from politicians representing governments that fail to enact the recommendations of repeated inquiries will no longer suffice. Do something, we scream. People now demanding change. COVID -19 a trigger point, the historians of the future will write. The real issues have nothing to do with a biological virus and everything to do with social justice. If the world is not ending just yet, it feels that the era of unfettered individualism has run its course. The “human race”, that ridiculous scramble to “get ahead”, is over. Who do we want to get ahead of? Our brothers and sisters? The other team? Some other state or nation? There is no fundamental right to “get ahead”. We survive and thrive as a society, not as billions of individuals racing against each other. The fires and the droughts and the relentless ocean and the mutating viruses remind us that money and fame, titles and degrees, and beauty and personal health, mean nothing when mother settles the score.

13 thoughts on “Looking ahead, not getting ahead

  1. You expressed the malaise in which our society finds itself at the present correctly. Whether individualism ”has run it’s course” is not debatable. But proponents of individualism will fight rear-guard actions. Humans are group animals and the idea of ”getting ahead” can only imply that others have to fall behind. I think the American century is over, and a society that thinks the one who comes second is the first loser is based on quicksand.

  2. Sooner or later our politcal leaders have to rethink all their policies according to what mother nature is going to teach all of us. We can only suvive if we adapt to the new conditions. Climate change is not new, but having to cope with the virus threat makes all the necessary changes in our thinking all the more urgent.
    I hope, that now in our Australian winter, a lot of back-burning is being done on days that are suitable for this kind of activity. For sure we are going to have more very hot summers. Reducing the fuel load as much as possible well in advance of the fire season is of the utmost importance. This is just one important thing we have to concider in ‘looking ahead’!
    For the foreseeable future maybe none of us should see it as important to ‘get ahead’.
    If ‘getting ahead’ means, that we should have more and more of everything, than I am not for it. I think we ought to find a balance in life where gradually we can reach some kind of sustainability for all people on this planet. So, we have to learn to be content with less. Excesses must be strictly avoided in furture. Can our politicians teach us all this?
    All they tell us is, that we need a ‘thriving economy’ and budget surpluses. But I think this has to change. I am sure, changes are going to come, whether the politicians want it or not.

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