Yes, I know... I haven't posted the last bit of commentary on my last days in Barcelona. Truth be told, I just can't do it. I am feeling depleted. Not because my trip is over. Not because I am back at work again. I am deeply affected by the events that seem to be going on everywhere I turn.
People are dying all over the world. I know that this has been going on since the year, Dot. But, it seems to be incredibly excessive to me right now. One could argue that it's affecting me because I'm paying attention more than before. Perhaps. I also think that being physically closer to the events, by being in Europe for six weeks, made me feel it in a stronger way.
Egypt, Japan, Libya, Bahrain, Tunisia, Syria, the Gaza Strip...
Natural disasters in South East Asia, barely mentioned on the news...
More lives lost...
Refugees being treated like criminals in the country of my birth! A Labor government taking the stance of what used to be considered a Liberal one, and still insisting on putting unreasonable restrictions on desperate people striving for a better life in our lucky country.
Still, all we hear from our dear Coalition leader is "Stop the boats" - it truly makes me sick, and ashamed to call myself an Australian.
But, where is it better?
I have to admit something. My recent sojourn in Spain made me realise how fortunate we are in Australia. Spain, not even considered to be a third-world country by any stretch of the imagination, is far worse off than Australia. Our methods here, our channels of support, medical, legal, education... eveything is much better here - the next time I feel like complaining about something, I'll definitely be thinking twice about doing so.
So, what to do? How can someone like me make a difference in this world? The problems are just too big.
Considering what I believe in - that there is no God, that we only have one shot in this world, that there is no afterlife - I find myself debating about the best course of action to take. I am not interested in fame or fortune. I am merely interested in making the lives of others better. Is that a reasonable thing to ask? I am starting to wonder.
I am beginning to think that the best way to start would be to work in my own backyard, so to speak. Our human rights record here in Australia leaves a lot to be desired. Aboriginals are still treated poorly. So are the foreigners seeking refuge in our great country. And don't get me started on how much I hate seeing our natural resources being abused, and sold to the Chinese. All for the sake of the almighty dollar. So much for wanting to do something about climate change.
Part of me thinks that I should take the approach of a lot of people in this world: "Me first. That's the most important." But, this voice in my head is growing more and more distant. After losing my house, my security, in effect, the things that used to matter and be a priority to me, are not so important anymore. I feel free to do something about these problems I witness at every turn. I have no children to take care of. I have no home to pay off and maintain. I have no partner to elevate and administer to his needs before my own. It's just me. Frankly, I don't think I have the right to complain about anything in my life. Not when there are so many suffering in this world.
It's time to look at options and investigate channels...