Replacing ‘Me’ with ‘We’
In the present situation with the number of virus cases spiralling each day it is almost unbelievable that there have been illegal, unlawful and unjustifiable demonstrations both in Sydney, up north, and in Melbourne protesting against the lockdowns that have been decreed as a precaution to help prevent further infection.
Yes, we do live in a democratically governed Commonwealth, and every citizen has rights within this. However, human rights are not just individual privileges but must always be counter balanced with responsibilities.
We live in a free country, but we can’t define that as a “Me Me Me” existence, but need to look beyond our personal horizons to the wider community and beyond.
With the current takeover by the Taliban in Afghanistan, and thousands of people struggling to escape the governance they have not had for the last twenty years, evacuation flights have been organized to try and help vulnerable people, as well as fellow Australians to take refuge in other countries.
Unfortunately, these flights are unlikely to accommodate all the struggling refugees, and our Australian totals are not great. It was saddening to hear our Prime Minister, Scott Morrison stating that people who try to come here by boat will not be admitted.
Of course we don’t want a recurrence of previous illegal boat arrivals, but it doesn’t seem too outlandish to allow some of these Afghans and their Australian counterparts another alternative when the planes are full.
With this crisis attracting our attention, as well as the lockdown and the need for vaccinations, and even a horror news item about a Neo Nazi group emerging, it might be time to stop, look and listen to a few truths about things like ethics and morality, freedom and human rights, and the Biblical injunction to treat others as we would like them to treat us.
We need our Government members to be fully informed about matters they have to deal with, leaving things like personal gain, money and popularity as secondary.
The Health professionals who are supplying daily information about the virus are not just making it up as some people seem to believe.
Our Premiers have been bravely standing before the States, trying to convey facts and figures on a daily basis, and offering ways and means of containing the virus, like wearing a mask, obeying the lockdown and respecting social distancing.
These are not some silly pipe dreams, but solutions recommended by the health professionals.
The sooner everybody can allow commonsense to prevail in this difficult time instead of foolishly disregarding advice because we don’t like it or we think it is impinging on our personal rights and freedom, the quicker the current problems will be able to be contained, and some sense of normality might return.
I came across a little saying years ago which struck me quite powerfully.
So much so that I framed it and sat it on my desk! “I complained because I had no shoes – until I met a man who had no feet.”
It seems to be very relevant for today. Let us be grateful for what we have.
(Article originally appeared in the Central Western Daily, August 27 2021).
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