Whenever our nation is in crisis we yearn for the good old days when threats like this did not happen. Whenever we avoid a crisis we say it is because we honoured old traditions that were certain to keep us safe. Of course, as we all know, there has never been any such things as good old days, nor could we revive them even if there were. We just enjoy a bit of nostalgia here and there.
I will always remember Tony Abbott’s term as Prime Minister as the era when we had a leader who spent 99% of his time looking backwards and trying to take our entire nation with him on his search for the security of yesterday, while never finding it because it has never existed.
One simple example of his wasted journey was the decision to anoint Knights and Dames once more, as stupid a decision as any Prime Minister ever made, but at least it gave millions of Aussies a good laugh.
It could be that he made decisions like that to divert our attention from the real challenges that faced the nation, changes we must make if we are to be a stable, humane and progressive society.
Here are just a few of the unavoidable changes to which he turned a blind eye simply because they will detract from the glory of yesterday. The list really is quite revealing as not one of them are a threat.
*Indigenous recognition in the Constitution
*Same Sex Marriage
*Creation of a Republic
*Reform of the Senate
*The need for a rapidly ageing nation to have adequate retirement incomes and housing
*A revolution of public transport in capital cities so as to get cars off roads.
*Carrying freight on railways instead of roads
*Drought proofing the continent
*Building a close relationship with Indonesia
*Honouring international laws on refugees
*Replacing outdated infrastructure
Plus a dozen more.
Thankfully, Malcolm Turnbull has an expansive mind that looks forward not backwards. So there is hope.
I hope that Bill Shorten shows us that he too has no fear of the future although it is worrying that he can’t see a world that has no trade unions, in the same way as Abbott could not envisage a world without churches.
What we can all learn from Abbott’s fear of the future is that it is futile to overlook the undeniable fact that,
*The world will change more in the next five years than it has done in the previous century
*There is no such thing as certainty.
*We achieve nothing by creating fear
*The only security is found in our own souls
*Australia will prosper if we have open minds, expansive vision and the courage to take risks.
Let the past remain where it is while we enjoy the unlocking of the mysteries of the future.
Yours @ Large
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