What’s the Point?
This morning, while having my morning coffee and fending off chickens (whose main goal in life appears to be to get into The Humpy, they are obsessed and irritatingly persistent), I browsed the internet on my phone and read some news articles. I wish I hadn’t done the latter.
Our raving lunatic of a Prime Minister, Tony Abbott, has been saying things like “the environment is meant for man” and touting loggers as the “ultimate conservationists“. Most Australians are aware by now that Piss-n-Moan Tone is hell bent on raping every natural resource he can to make a profit (and he’s not too fond of gays, refugees or women) so this latest megalomaniacal ranting didn’t come as a surprise to me, but it’s depressing nonetheless.
I had the misfortune of meeting Abbott many years ago when I was working in a youth mental health service (he was the Health Minister at the time). I spent half an hour or so in the same room with him, watching the way he interacted with a group of young people who’d experienced mental health issues (some very serious). I watched his face as one of the patients spoke about what can only be described as a tragic childhood, the cycle of homelessness and drug abuse and mental illness – heartwrenching stuff. After witnessing that interaction I can tell you one thing about Abbott: the man has zero ability to empathise. He is poison. And in a position of power he is extremely dangerous.
So, all of this got me thinking: what’s the point? Why are we bothering to live like we do when it’s going to make bugger all difference in the scheme of things? (We’re under no illusions that growing a bit of food and making some compost is going to save the world). Why don’t we just throw in the towel, get proper jobs and lead a life of rampant consumerism?
The point: it makes us happy. There’s no such thing as altruism right? We love living like a couple of dirty hippies in a caravan, surrounded by plants and animals and not having to be hung up on how much we earn or caught in a crippling cycle of debt. And we know we’re not going to save the world, but we’re also not the sort of people who could live with ourselves if we didn’t at least try to be part of the solution rather than contributing to the problem.