A friend put out the somewhat rhetorical question the other day asking what people wanted for Christmas.. and it got me to thinking again…. and we know that’s always a dangerous proposition, right? .. (oh-oh.. warning: long post following)
I live a very luck -filled and ‘blessed’ life.. To paraphrase my friend Brandon.. “It does not suck…!” I enjoy the best of city and country life, I enjoy the company and counsel of friends in all corners of the globe; and a family that I love and whom (I think?) love me , so really, I personally want for nothing for Christmas. .. So what I’d I ask for Christmas is actually for all of us.. mindful that this time of year is Christmas for Christians, and its also Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Winter Solstice and HumanLight.. so a little tolerance and awareness for all would be a great start; but what i really want are these…
* A country where everyone is treated equally regardless of their gender, or sexual orientation. Some of my best friends are LGBTIQ and I just don’t understand how some people can be so smugly content on one side of the ledger yet live in a land that denies somebody a basic happiness on the basis of their sexuality. The same goes for race, religious belief or disability.
* A country where teachers are paid what they’re worth and not what the government can get away with paying them. You want to improve our kids’ education levels? Pay teachers enough to keep them in the profession, resource them properly to do their jobs, then back off off and let ‘em get to it…. and don’t even get me started on Nurses; they are deserving of sainthood..
* A country in which I’m not embarrassed by the cynicism of our elected officials’ stance on Immigration; or for that matter .. the cynicism of our pollies in general. By and large, they’re a pretty dreadful bunch in my opinion.
* A country that has a bigger view of itself than Australia does now.. Why we aren’t using this country’s bountiful resources to grow more stuff and become a net exporter of high quality food simply dumbfounds me. We’ve managed to kill off manufacturing… so we could be / should be aiming to feed half a billion people and selling food to countries that aren’t as blessed agriculturally. Guess what, it’ll create jobs in regional Australia where they’re sorely needed and by extension will help to mitigate the scourge that is ice-addiction / depression & suicide in so many country towns, Instead, we just keep digging black rocks outta the ground, scarring the earth forever and selling it into a declining market for fossil fuels; while contributing overall to the problem that is climate change; yet denying its existence.
* A world where climate science was afforded the same level of consideration as medical science. When I’m sick, I go to a doctor who knows more about medicine than I do; I listen, and I take advice. Friends, the evidence is in… this Pale Blue Dot is sick. We need to listen to Climate Scientists – not the zealots, not the crazies and not the loonies – but the scientists…. the ones who prize the data and seek the knowledge within. We need to listen and then we need to act.
* A world which has beaten poverty, solved the problem of running water for everybody wherever its needed and worked out equitable distribution of production excesses. For the life of me I just don’t understand how that one has eluded us for so long… Thankfully there’s people smarter than me on the case and I resolve to stay optimistic.
* A world where no advertising industry exists to convince us to buy stuff we don’t need; (motorcycles are exempted of course…you can never have too many of these..) , and while we’re at it, I’d reduce the number of self-appointed ‘experts’ telling me ’10 ways to improve my life’, ‘7 ways to make more money’ , ‘5 ways to get ahead’ and so on, assuming I’m not OK as-is.. Thank you for your interest, but please, just nick off. I’m not perfect by any means; and I’m doing my best..
* A world that had nutted out what causes mental health issues in all it’s forms and manifestations, then knew what to do to help those who live with them..…so much suffering arises from this one root cause. (Sidebar: I note for the record that one never rarely sees a motorcycle parked outside a psych therapist’s office. Coincidence? I think not…)
* A world in which David Bowie, Prince, Leonard Cohen, Janis Joplin, Amy Winehouse, John Lennon, George Harrison and Robin Williams weren’t dead. By the way, screw you 2016…. You took the best and left the worst; what the hell were you thinking..
A world in which there was no fear of terrorism, because we’d all just get along. I dunno how to make that happen, and its a lofty wish I know, but hey, its Christmas and if you can’t ask then…
Thoreau remarked that Men live lives of quiet desperation. A bloke I know jus modified that to read ‘lives of rowdy despair…” I think I fit into that description, so from now on, I resolve to stay optimistic instead..
OK, I’m spent… What’s your wish? (stay classy people…)
Merry Christmas / Happy Hanukkah / Happy Kwanzaa / Happy Winter Solstice / Happy Festivus or Happy HumanLight!
PS: Recommended reading – Carl Sagan : Pale Blue Dot; just Google it…