It’s good for them (Australians) – the sector is in perennial need of all sorts of inputs – but it’s also good for us. It gives back so much more than we ever give it. When we volunteer to do something that is absolutely non-compulsory, chances are we get back a very special feeling that sadly many of us don’t otherwise have.
I need a dose of the natural environment on a regular basis. It balances the bitumen and high rises of Collins Street.
If your body is crying out for a change, or crying out that it’s unhappy, for goodness sake listen to it. Our bodies aren’t machines that get by with a grease and oil change every 50,000 kilometres. Stress is part of life but if prolonged stress is in our life, we have to ask ourselves if we are in the right place, right frame of mind, or doing the right job.
We are a nation with the most amazing potential. We are, I believe, not only the “Lucky Country” but possibly the “Luckiest Country”. Our island continent has extraordinary beauty, has the oldest continuous living culture, is relatively under-populated, has a rich scientific, sporting, arts and multi-cultural heritage and, of course, has an economy which is the envy of the developed world. But to be a truly great nation, in my opinion, means adding to this list the importance of ensuring our most vulnerable are given a fair go…
I am confident there is a cause for everyone. Think of how you can contribute; we all have different skills.
I embrace the concept of enlightened self-interest – that in doing something for others, people also reap profound benefits for themselves. It might involve a little bit of sacrifice and discipline, but, and this is so crucial to understand, that participation has given me back so, so much more than I have given it.
Investing intelligently in those of us who are marginalised means fewer people in jail, fewer homeless, fewer unemployed, fewer of us who are forlorn and depressed, fewer people addicted to things that drag us down… Because as we invest in those that do it tough, we will see more Australians taking pride in themselves, having realisable dreams and aspirations and making their own positive contribution to the world’s greatest nation.
There is abundant evidence the greatest gains in freedom and wealth in modern history have been delivered by democracy and markets. But there can be no prosperous Wall, Collins or Pitt streets without healthy backstreets. Overall, the Occupy movement is not about breaking down the system, it is about breaking into and adjusting the system that is no longer providing a fair go. It is about equality of opportunity, rather than equality of outcome, and ought to be embraced as a collective opportunity for us to ask the paramount ethical question: is this right?