Welcome to this week’s editorial,
This week’s editorial revolves around the word ‘expectation’.
At its very core is the generally naive expectation that we might be able to live the simple life we want for ourselves. The initial building blocks require air, water and food. We value add to that with a hope of shelter and clothing.
Having been exposed first hand to a culture that was primal, nomadic, with uncertainty of survival or food, having the most basic and temporary of shelters, generally naked except for a penis gourd or arse-gras and with no guarantee at all of living to the next day I can then add to that my time living in villages, slums and ghettos. Our universal needs are basic. We are born hungry and naked, and from that day on everything we can source is a bonus. We learn to adapt.
How we live, and how long we live is often a result of where we live and who we were born to. Those who Have tend to do better than those who don’t Have. But those who don’t Have can aspire.
To many who have travelled through India it is confronting to see the absolute destitute poor living side by side with the incredibly rich. It isn’t uncommon to see the daily interface between the near famished and the well heeled. In India the sight is considered normal. It is as it is. In Australia we pay less respect to fate.
These are days as we have not had before in this generation. The expectation of a good job with a good income that follows on from a good education to deliver a good life in a nice home with a happy family living a healthy happy life has become a Hollywood fiction to so many.
In the South East or reality is that there are few jobs, low incomes, compromised public education delivery and the good life in a nice home is well beyond the reach of our young where a fibro 1950’s holiday hut will set you back a million dollars on a $50,000 per year income.
Even the dream of a simple healthy life has become a nightmare of pandemics, health systems under brutal pressure and the spike of mental health issues due to bushfires, desolation and isolation adding to the mix.
It turns out that one shouldn’t put too much credence in expectations. But we do.
We have great expectations of those we nominate as our leaders hoping they can, at the very least, deliver on our basic dreams of housing, employment, food, health and education. At a local level we hope that our roads are safe to drive on. That our parks are safe to play in and that our water is safe to drink. Having sewer, libraries and pathways is a bonus.
At a state level we hope that there is provision of health services that keep us, our family and community, alive for a reasonable amount of time. Oddly we seem to now have an expectation to live to 100. That being the case our expectation of health services increases dramatically.
At a Federal level we expect that they too do their job. In honesty. At all levels we expect that they do their best. A reasonable expectation. Sadly, collectively we are all the poorer for what we are given. Are our expectations too high? Or do we now have leaders who are content to deliver less than expected knowing they can get away with it as there is no consequence for mediocrity? Do we need to pay more? If so, how much?
We have a new Council, we are soon to have a new Member for Bega and hopefully we will have a new Government. Either we can choose to let them satisfy our modest expectations or grumble that they haven’t. They are only as good as we are. Are carparks of more value than hospitals? Are gun clubs more important than schools? And if we do nothing, if we let them be us, then they reflect us, and they will generally deliver well below our expectations. Why? Because they can. They prefer the “unheard”, the “voiceless”.
If only we could step up and say “No”. If only we could find the point of delivery of a reasonable expectation and be content that that point in life is, at the least, as good as it gets.