I’m posting late tonight as I genuinely forgot about it earlier in the day and have just returned from a drive to Sydney and back to pick up the hubster from his work. The trains would have had him returning home close to midnight, and with a turn around starting at 5am tomorrow, this seemed like the better choice.
Interestingly, thinking about driving a three-hour round trip just for one reason has led me to ponder how grateful I am for a number of things:
- I have a great car that can handle the trip and is comfortable to drive, making the journey more enjoyable
- I have money in the bank to pay for petrol and food for dinner (as the trip coincided with this time, so eating earlier was out of the question)
- I am relatively healthy and completely capable, if not a little tired, of driving down to Sydney to pick up the love of my life so that it can save him a few hours sleep
These things may seem fairly innocuous, and to some, a given. And yes, in my culture, and in my stage of life, these things are not really that noteworthy, except for one underlying fact: All of these things are made possible because of the country I live in.
I have a great car because my country has high standards for vehicle roadworthiness and because we earn a reasonable enough income between us to afford to run a decent car that meets our needs. Because our country values an individual and the work that they do, our wage system is better than many other nations and therefore our general standard of living is also high.
I have money in the bank because both of us are highly skilled in our chosen fields, work hard to satisfy our customers and therefore continue to secure further work, creating further income to live on. We could not be at the levels that we are at if it wasn’t for the education system that we have grown up in (given that it’s not perfect, but then, no system really is).
I am relatively healthy because my country ensures that we have not just adequate health care, but exceptional health care where I can see a doctor of my choosing and have access to some of the best medical facilities in the world.
So what am I grateful for today? I am grateful that I am not only an Australian, but that I live here. There are plenty of things that we (definitely myself included) can comment on about how much better things can be, but let’s be fair: this is an amazing country with an amazing level of attention to the basic rights of human beings (not getting into the refugee debate today, sorry), a desire to see generations of Australians become highly educated and everyone receive access to all the help they may need.
So here’s to being Aussie, a good month and a half before Australia Day. My point for today is this:
Let’s spend less time complaining about the lack of this and the cost of that and the this and the that. It’s time to change the tune and start speaking affirmation over our own systems; to start undergirding our government leaders, our educational leaders and those who help us when we are at our worst with words that build up, edify and encourage. It’s time we thought carefully about the judgements we flippantly speak out over the rest of the nation and consider writing a different future for our children’s children.
I don’t tend to get on the soap box too much, I hope, but I think now and then it’s okay to really say things that matter. I hope that you hear my heart and understand my words clearly today and that you will continue into the festive season with a new lens to look through.