Updated: Jan 23, 2022
We are nearly done for 2021. Yay.
I don't think I'm alone in thinking that 2021 was a pretty crappy year. It started, much like any other year with us full of hope that it would be better; much better than 2020. But the fact is that the world has changed...irrevocably, completely and utterly different to what we knew before. And we are still trying to adjust, still finding our way in a world where lockdowns, pandemic restrictions and QR check-ins have become the new normal.
For us in Australia, the pandemic came on the heels of a worst-ever bushfire season, and to be honest, I am still mourning the loss of thousands of hectares of bushland and billions of animals and birds. It seems to me to be more important than ever to save and nurture our remaining natural environment and to exercise kindness and compassion like never before; after all, we can no longer argue that we are not all in this together - us, the trees and forests, the grasslands, the plants, the animals - the earth, everyone and everything on it.
So it is has been more than disappointing to me that in many ways, the opposite seems to have resulted. Governments have spent the last year using deceit, duplicity and spin to cover the fact that they are not doing the right thing for all Australians, and yet barely concealing the fact that they don't really care about all Australians either now or in the future, because they will be just fine in their ivory towers. Perhaps even more alarming, people have turned on each other, perpetuating conspiracy theories that don't make sense and pushing their opinion with evangelistic zeal, without a care about how it may hurt others physically or otherwise. Perhaps, because people don't know what else to do, their fear and frustration is turned on those around them. Interestingly, those who profess a faith in God and Jesus have had to decide whether their faith should cause them to get their hands dirty or to withdraw even further to the safety of their religious 'bubble' where they can console themselves with the idea that God would intervene if He wanted to and at the end of the day, will look after His own. I often think of the film Avatar, and its Dystopian predictions about the earth. There is a line about we earthlings: Jake says 'They killed their mother, and they're gonna do the same here'. Let's save our mother while we still can, because after all Pandora is a figment of James Cameron's imagination (i.e. there is no planet B, and even if there was, only those with the wealth of Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos will get there).
I confess that 2020 knocked me for six. And 2021 did much the same. Like many of you, I have struggled with finances, my mental health, and finding a way forward. But as we enter 2022, I am determined that I will take care of myself and those around me. I will, as the late Reverend Desmond Tutu has admonished us: 'Do your little bit of good wherever you are; it's those little bits of good put together that overwhelm the world'. For me, that means 2022 should involve random acts of kindness, making sure that I walk lightly on the world, hold the politicians in our country to account and ensure that we have leaders who will do likewise. It means respecting and caring for our 'mother' and remembering that everyone is 'I'. Best wishes for the end of 2021, and may 2022 be a much brighter and better year for us all.