how did this happen? who's to blame? well certainly there are those more responsible than others, and they will be held accountable, but again truth be told, if you're looking for the guilty, you need only look into a mirror.how do parents instill in their children a sense of responsibility toward others when everything in the world around them tells them only to think of themselves?
i've heard people say that there comes a time when you have to think of yourself, which leaves me to wonder if it ever really need be true... after all, if you can have two people looking out for one another, making sure they're safe, why can we not have 22 million people in this country looking out for one another? why can we not actively seek to make sure as we step into the future that the person beside us is not left behind?
we talk about being "the lucky country" as if we are somehow different from other nations but the more i see our newscasts and read our papers, the more i see advertising and billboards, the more i hear people on trains and see them on streets, the less difference i see between australia and the rest of the western world. this is the effluent affluence that developing nations are aspiring towards? so they too can afford to crave the things we have? type-2 diabetes, spiralling divorce rates, people unable to build things or repair things but wonderfully trained to create web pages complaining about why the water pressure is poor or why new houses are so expensive...?
our very success is the albatross around our neck: our prosperity makes us targets which need to be defended by men and women with guns; our growing population weighs our economy down with credit card debt being paid to overseas interests while we import food because we cannot support our own appetites; there is no apology without the expectation of damages; there is no forgiveness...
when i started writing this i wanted to come up with a rant about irresponsible young people who could probably do with a good thumping when it comes to being punished for damaging people's homes and our community's police cars. i want to see the people i perceive as being the cause of this be punished.
what i want is wrong. what i should want is not recompense but redemption, not judgement but justification - not payment for past mistakes but a changed direction to a better future.
i read that some party organiser said that this young man's party organising skills would be worth $10,000. so heart warming that such public if deniably tacit approval of defying one's parents can be so rewarding; such a pity that that only comes halfway to paying the bill for cleaning up such a wonderfully well-organised party last weekend! one person thinks he's hot; another described him as having raided doctor zhivago's wardrobe.
it comes as no surprise to me that the community outrage that some might have expected to see about this incident hasn't much teeth. for the appropriate level of community outrage i suspect there needs to be a certain level of community responsibility felt within the community itself by its members towards each other, community responsibility that would have meant this would never have happened in the first place. five hundred people would have been fifty, who would have accepted that the police were there because the community as a whole empowered them to say, "you have gone thus far - too far".
so we have an acceptable level of debt, when any debt was something to be worked off rather than lived on; acceptable levels of unemployment, homelessness, divorce, scandal, corruption... what a lucky country we are! what? are we a lucky country? compared to others, perhaps. compared with what we could be, no.
we are some of us living on the verandah of a mansion, scorning the people on the stairs, ignoring those at the bottom of the driveway, and all of us together refusing to turn around and bring everyone inside the house.