Australia, we are The Lucky Country. So stop complaining

Jane Fynes-Clinton

I am pretty sure the fine Clinton is a basically conservative lady.  She is grateful for Australia.  Leftists just whine about it.  And gratitude is a major marker of conservatism and Christianity.  Committed Christians give thanks before each meal. Like Australians generally, few Australian conservatives are committed Christians but they do generally treat Christianity with respect.  Some of us even go to church on occasions

Jane has written other articles that reveal her as patriotic and conservative, two things that are often related. I reproduce immediately below this one an  article by her that I heartily agree with.  It is a balanced look  at feminism -- a very rare thing indeed.

And from my observation and reading, I think she is pretty right on her international comparisons.  Garbage collection and potholed roads seem to be a major problem in Britain but not here.  Potholes are rare and only last a couple of days here.  They often last for months in Britain.  And ALL our garbage is collected every week with no need for us to sort it in any  way.  We have recycling bins but nobody checks what is in them. That would be a dream in most of Britain.

And our banks are the world's best.  At the height of the financial crisis, instead of going bust, they continued to make profits pretty much as usual.  Beat that!  I used to think our banks were pretty terrible -- until I encountered British and American ones.

And, remarkably, it is true that our politicians are pretty good.  There have been quite a few times over the years when I have written to my local member over some bureaucratic boneheadedness I had encountered.  And the problem was rapidly fixed on all occasions.

We have much to be grateful for here in the Land of Oz.

Instead of looking to criticise our nation and those in it, we must look to praise and find pride in it. The frustration is we could be so much more if we accepted that our economic situation is pretty good in a world sense, our crime rate is better than most, our politicians are largely accountable and work for us, and we are mostly safe.

We are a stunning nation and, at our core, a wonderful people. But misery seems to like company and an attitudinal shift here is overdue.

I have had the privilege of travelling to many nations in the past six weeks and am struck at how blessed Australia is — and how little we appreciate it.

On a day-to-day level, we have fresh fruit and vegetables by the barrowful. In England, Canada and France at this time of year, choices are limited and produce is expensive.

We have fresh air and drinkable water straight from the tap. In Bangkok, both are the stuff of faraway lands.

We have access to medical help regardless of income. Access to a quality education in Australia is not determined by social standing, as it is in many Asian nations.

Our footpaths and roads aren’t allowed to be in disrepair for long (holes and unevenness feature in main streets from London to Bangkok to New York) and our rubbish is reliably collected — again, a rarity in even civilised societies.

These are simple, transparent truths, so a little perspective and a little glimpse outside our bubble into the world around us might help us adopt an attitude of gratitude.

As well as these societal structures that we have demanded and our governments and authorities have implemented, we are also The Lucky Country — and that need not be imbued with the irony the creator of the phrase intended.

The Lucky Country is the title of Donald Horne’s 1964 book. It got its name from words in its last chapter, which read: “Australia is a lucky country, run by second-rate people who share its luck”.

Horne grieved for an Australia at the time that did not seem to think for itself, that clung to traditions that were not its own, that had a chip on its shoulder the size of Tasmania. [I remember Donald.  It was Donald who had the chip on his shoulder]

Sadly, not a huge amount has changed in more than 50 years. But is it possible that 2016 could be our year? That we might start being the nation the rest of the world thinks we are?

We are lucky, certainly. We have space, natural beauty and resources and endless sunshine.

These are gifts we do not necessarily deserve, but should consciously treasure.

Our encroaching negativity — for starters, the practice of whining online about meals, people, systems and anything else that niggles, and our aggression on the roads over tiny infractions — is a characteristic we must shed to advance our civility and 2016 is the year to do it.

Australians want to collectively regain mental wellness and finally accept the positives our nation is groaning with. Our land abounds with them.

2016 is the year for gratitude. Happy — the kind that is deeply real and lasting — new year.


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