Friday, November 28, 2008

On my Soapbox

I went out last week to catch up with some past and present workmates. We were getting together to toast someone leaving work. She had decided after her second child, not to come back to work. That statement seems like such a luxury in this day and age. But that's not what I'm here to write about.

During our chat, someone brought up Christine Nixon's retirement. I said how sad I was, as I thought she had been a star. Any woman who rises to the top in a male dominated profession, wants to sort out corruption and take on the 'boys club', while still maintaining her grace is an inspiration. Someone else had a differing opinion, and that's fine by me. However - the guest of honour (who's husband is a cop) said 'we're not political people, so I don't really know'.

Deep breath. Not political people. Ok. You know when I hear sentences like that I think it's like admitting you're either self-centered or stupid. That may sound harsh but the thing is, the guest of honour is political about other things. She's into animal conservation and from memory sponsors a child in the third world. What I don't understand is - how can you have 2 kids and not think about what's going on in the world you've brought them into? Your local world.

I've just finished reading Mark Watson's book 'Crap at the Environment'. It was fabulous. It has made me realise what I am doing, and what I can do, to hopefully slow down or even stop this world from hurtling to hell in an overheated, underwater handbasket. The thought of everyone doing something, no matter how small, contributing to the whole of the greater good filled me with hope. And as mentioned previously a few posts ago - Hope is a great thing.

He mentioned towards the end of the book, in response to the Global Warming naysayers, that living your life in a more ethical way won't harm anyone. In the best case scenario it may save the planet, but if you don't believe, then don't worry your pretty little head about such things as the end of life as we know it.

It sends a shiver down my spine that people don't want to be 'political', or can't be bothered to get out of their 4 wheel drives/ipods/computers/TVs/ebay/shopping malls etc. long enough to think about someone other than themselves. There's such an attitude of 'as long as I'm alright', everything's OK. Well guess what. It's not. We have somehow become people more interested in ourselves individually than interested in how we fit into the bigger picture.

You know, I'm no saint. I too, suffer from the lure of bright shiny new things. And I shudder to think of the carbon footprint of my Christmas decorations. But at this time of year I begin to think about those less fortunate. My boyfriend rides his bike to work past the moonee ponds creek. There are homeless people who have set up tents to live in. He's also seen many discarded plastic bags used by chromers. There are some people out there having a really hard time of it. And every year at Christmas I seem to feel it more and more. Luckily my family decided a few years ago that we all had enough stuff and christmas is about the nieces and nephews. So, we are trying to spend the money we would have bought prezzies for the adults with, on things that we care about - and will hopefully make a difference to someone else's life. No matter how small. Every contribution makes a difference to someone.

I want to feel connected to people. I want to be aware of what's going on in the world. I want to leave this world better than I found it. I want to care. Being part of a community of like minded people is an amazing feeling. Perhaps by getting connected with people and living in an ethical way we will fill that hole in ourselves that many of us are trying to fill by buying things. It's a great feeling finding joy in simple things. Is this political? I don't know. But you know what? It makes me think of that old saying ' it takes a community to raise a child'. I just wonder if our guest of honour has ever taken the time to think of this?

1 comment:

Sophia said...

ok you've inspired me. I'm going to propose to my family that this is the last year where we buy oressies for the adults.
Oh. and with the whole bogan thing - some ppl live in their own little world - I take a deep breath and leave them there. But I'm impressed you're out there trying to change other ppl's ignorant opinions :)