I was bought up on the idea that Australia and Australians are fair.
And in certain quarters our traditions of mateship and fair go continues.
But sadly, many Australian individuals and institutions are now greedy, sexist and manipulative, supporting educational and social inequality based on a lack of coherent values and also pockets of extreme self interest.
Crimes are uncovered in the top echelons and no one goes to prison.
Who would have thought that our top Catholic would be in jail?
That Julie Bishop would be passed over for PM by schoolyard bullies?
That our banks would condone and cover up corruption?
That our educational system would still allow gross inequality?
That our border control policies would allow indefinite detention and we'd fight over medical care?
That private health care at the top-end is great, only if you have the sufficient gap money?
That the disabled are still not being looked after in a timely manner?
That the issue of mental health is not being addressed?
And what about equal pay for women doing equal work?
And our indigenous people? I can’t even go there.
I watch firefighters, ambos, police, nurses, carers and teachers doggedly doing outstanding jobs despite being attacked, spat on and abused.
I watch building companies pull down classified buildings.
I watch the wealthy maintain their sense of superiority by huddling together in cross-generational social and family groups, while their kids go to school in sheltered workshops called top schools.
Is it greed or fear that drives us? Certainly, it is insecurity.
And it’s such a waste of time.
We are born and we die, and the life in between goes in a flash.
Most of us do our breeding thing if we can, thereby guaranteeing the future of humanity.
And yet, despite that miracle, many of those who end up powerful don’t use their luck/efforts to provide for anyone but themselves.
I think that merely "existing" is unbearable for most people.
It’s too waffling for most of us because we need a framework to work in.
I think it’s the building of the self that creates meaning of course.
And in a kinder world, I believe that we would all help each other as an absolute priority.
If being on top is what someone thinks they need to be happy, they can only really achieve this by being truthful.
By being generous, sensitive, humble … by being connected and aware of the needs of others.
Then actively creative, committed efforts will bring "joy" to them and relief to those who need it.
So, why the fire in the belly this month? I think it’s the heat that sends me crazy, and the worry about bushfire.
Watching the firefighters, the police and volunteers do their thing.
I think it’s observing the appalling behaviour of some of the religious hypocrites with their medieval power traditions and criminal behaviour.
I think it’s travelling on the train to Melbourne and watching the behaviour of some (and it's not only young people) who get off at a particular station along the way.
Aggressive disrespect and anger, and maybe ignorance.
Which I think I understand.
And then I watch the news and wonder what example the behaviour of our elected representatives offers us.
And then what? Well, I can only write about it.
Vale Michael Willesee.