Let’s start with a positive here. I am so grateful that I am educated to think critically and not blindly trust people of authority or fame. I am grateful too that I live in a country where I am (relatively) free to hold my own opinions and operate within my community with reasonable levels of autonomy and safety. Nevertheless, communities remain safe because good people remain vigilant, systems exist to deal with recalcitrants and as required, cohesive societies recognise the value of constant change.
Good people such as Waleed Aly who ‘lifted the curtain’ and reminded us the extent to which ‘politicians were looking out for their own interests over their responsibility to citizens’. See the transcript and related video of Waleed’s recent on-camera editorial here.
The aforementioned editorial is not simply about the SOH or horse races or advertising. It highlights many other things, including our so-called leaders riding roughshod over what might be in the utilitarian interests (greater good) of the community but instead acting within their own narrow self-interested domain. A domain that privileges a few and consolidates and concentrates power among even less.
It is not simply that many of these political and corporate leaders are ‘blind’ and ‘cannot’ or ‘will not see’. Rather, sadly, they do not care, as they pursue their own agendas, and via shrewd and devious political nous, divide and conquer to achieve their own personal aspirations. This is unfettered human nature without adequate regulation.
Meanwhile, the gap between the have and have nots widens, the planetary climate crisis is ignored by the ‘fossils’ who believe ‘coal is good for humanity’, women around the world continue to be assaulted, murdered and harassed, and superior education and informed journalism are vilified in efforts to protect the greedy and incompetent civic and corrupt leaders.
Now is a time to unify, to collaborate, to tolerate, to act in the greater good. We the people can no longer depend upon the politicians or business leaders. We the people must lead and keep an eye out for dangers ahead. As a skipper of a small cruise ship recently said to me, we all need to pitch in and share the load, because we are all in the same boat. The boat can be called planet earth, and we the humanity the crew.
Can we rise above our own primal urges and selfish habits, to do what we know is helpful and right? And who is keeping the lookout and providing guidance back to the ‘skipper’ as we navigate our natural existence? I guess we shall see!