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A Change in Perspective

Sometimes you need a change of perspective (image by

Sometimes you need a change of perspective (image by

Imagine how much better this world would be if we changed our perspective, writes Petar Vodogaz. We live in a world where politics and religion – in the main – are archetypes of violence.

I type this not just as an Australian born man but also as a citizen of this beautiful, blue-green world we call Earth. And I fear for all our futures. I fear for the next generation after my own and I fear for the next generation afterward. I fear for the soul and the integrity of this island nation. This fear I speak of is caused by the polarisation caused by elements of our society that has flourished and like a disease has spread into the different strands of our civilisation.

I love my city of Sydney but I cringe at how uncaring we have become to the plight of our own homeless, when you read some of the cruelest comments in media comment areas after an article. We have stopped to listen to each other. We have stopped to simply this – care. The growing apathy I see on public transport when almost everyone is lost in their own worlds in texts. People it seems for the most part want to recoil from talking to another person and would rather lose themselves in social media.

Our current political system is shambolic. The two party system has run its course. Our politicians, rather than energise and uplift the Australian people with compassionate policy have pandered to the bigoted, to the extremists. Both parties state they “care about our Nation” and yet if they cared for our nation and the people within in it, they would not commit policies of class warfare, of using emotive speech and terminology such as “welfare leaners” and would not use the plight of asylum seekers in such demeaning terms.

The Australian people have either forgotten their government works in their interest or the majority of people simply do not care until their ‘hip pocket’ is affected. The current Coalition Government states they were elected with a mandate and yet we the Australian people did not elect them to keep secrets from us. Operation Sovereign Borders is simply a calculated piece of policy tainted in bigotry and smacks of touches of the White Australia Policy.

The voter’s role does not begin and end at a federal or state election. There has been enough silence as this current Government has sought to divide and use sloganism and being protected by the Rupert Murdoch media empire it has had a voice piece on commercial TV, shock jock right wing radio and tabloids such as The Telegraph.

I have watched enough of Parliament’s Question Time to see that the majority of politicians have lost touch and those few have not and do try to help people are often drowned out by party politics. I was a former ALP voter but I am now forever separated from politics and there is no single party who I feel I can vote for. The Coalition is as bad as the American Tea Party and the ALP have lost their way on many social issues.

I believe Capitalism is a failed system. As I have become more and more observant of our society, I can hear the vast and often cruel cries of a vastly unhappy society pressurized and polarized. Both politics and religion have been used as instruments of pain, manipulation and above all has made people divisive. We decry the violence in our society and yet have fundamentally chosen to be blind to the ideologies that dull the senses and creates problems rather than helps to elevate and propel humanity forward.

Capitalism is simply a monopoly where the Haves increase their share at the offset of the Have Nots.

If a highly advanced space faring alien species visited us tomorrow and observed us and studied our history of our species, it would not be a good read or a good result. If they were to pass judgment on us, it would be severe and cold and callous. Because our history is stained in blood, each page of our past has been about one ideology trumping over another, about a belief that one race is better than another and so on. We say collectively that we have learnt from the world wars of 1914 and 1939 that never again would be spill the blood of so many people and allow hatreds and ideology to drag us into conflict. And yet we must admit to something that ultimately vilifies us; that our race, is aggressive and violent. That we have purged our planet of resources, killed ecosystems and slaughtered animals sometimes just for fun or to put them up on some mantle piece.

This is a gloomy picture, is it not? Am I painting something very forlorn? Is there hope? Have I given up hope? You would not be surprised if I said I had. But alas, no. I have not given up on humanity. And this is why I have not given up hope.

There is something truly deep inside us that is inherently good and that is our temerity to “learn”. Now to fully embrace this, we must view violence in a different light. We must come to terms with our own dark side and choose to change as a collective and this is how I believe it can be done . . .

It starts from you and me. It starts with a smile. It starts with realising each one of us is inter connected with the other. We cannot view ourselves as “lone islands”; we must come to see our love of violence, in movies, media, in militarism and in regalia of the past. All wars kill people, there is no right or wrong “side”. Not just does it kill our own numbers but it taints our planet.

Take for example the senseless story recently of a father who stabbed to death his 3 year old son.  I cannot and would rather not understand this man’s mind for it is rooted in violence.

To start to change society monumental steps must be taken now. First and foremost humankind must see politics and religion as archetypes of violence. The violence of the past and the present can be brought down to a singular form rooted in either manipulative concept. You have the Middle East that has forms of ideology that countless generations believe in and would die for. And if they thought rationally, people would ask themselves “why do we kill and hurt each other for such unseen beings?” And if these ‘gods’ existed and if they were omni-potent and all powerful and caring of humanity, why would they allow all this senseless and cruel pain and violence to continue?

And furthermore the same would be mentioned of politics, where people support a party, sometimes so blindly to believe in some very vile and inhumane policies. Policies that are sugarcoated in nationalism and jingoism.

I call on an old wisdom, Pacifism. And for this to work, the old ‘order’ must fall and this can only fall if humanity or enough people wake up to the fallacies of violence.

You are not a lesser person if you show a softer side.

You are not weak if you don’t anger or show kindness

Turn off the violence. See the beauty of our fellow man and woman by appreciating each other and each moment. For the end of senseless and cruel violence only begins when each of us takes the first steps and the first realisation that for this species to survive each one of us needs a change in perspective. The grand principle of the heavens . . . braces on the razors edge of truth.

From this moment onwards, I simply do not call myself an Australian. I call myself a Citizen of this Earth, a planet we must preserve and live in harmony with.

This is our moment. We deserve better.

Petar Vodogaz (pictured below) is a former ALP member who lost touch with the party after the inhumane policies of re-implementation of the Offshore Detention Policy. Petar has had a change of perspective in relation to a number of social and political issues. A resident of Sydney who has seen the concerning rise of polarisation within our society and believes we must change the way we see and do things before it is too late. He has not given up hope and does believe there is a positive path forward for humanity, only if we choose to adopt new ways of thinking and ways of doing things.



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  1. Delia Lord

    Iceland has thrown out their corrupt Government and started again. We need a Government of the people by the people and for the people. Not just Rupert, Gina and the 1%.

  2. John Lord

    Heartfelt sentiments Peter.

  3. corvus boreus

    Petar Vodogaz,
    I stand with you in pledging allegiance to the Earth and it’s collective future, as a representative of humanity.

  4. DanDark

    Excellent, sums up most of humanity perfectly, but the photo you picked made me laugh, that’s me the one looking the other way, cos you never know what you will see, find, discover 🙂
    As I say to folk, “we are all going to the slaughter yard in the end, I am just going to take a different track, ‘cos I know the track you are going down is the quickest way to slaughter yard, I am going to take the long way take a different view than you” 🙂

  5. jaitchg

    Inspiring Petar. I’m starting to think direct action is the only way. I know it can seem daunting and life’s busy and pressured, but let’s role model the alternative options and behaviours we’d like to see. Be the change…

  6. mars08

    Both politics and religion have been used as instruments of pain, manipulation…

    Now before any self-righteous tosser insists that we don’t have religious violence is Australia…. like HELL we don’t!!!! Our state religion is consumerism. And it allows us to ignore all manner of sins.

  7. contrite shadow

    “lost touch with the party after the inhumane policies of re-implementation of the Offshore Detention Policy” – Me, too. But I also have hope. A lot more Aussies care about this stuff than I’d deduced from despairingly watching successive election results.

  8. MissPamela

    “I call on an old wisdom, Pacifism. And for this to work, the old ‘order’ must fall and this can only fall if humanity or enough people wake up to the fallacies of violence.”
    Let it be! Soon please!

  9. mikestasse

    I type this not just as an Australian born man but also as a citizen of this beautiful, blue-green world we call Earth. And I fear for all our futures.

    Don’t mention the looming collapse…….

    Never fear Petar……. it’s all going to end soon.

  10. Hotspringer

    One bitch, Petar. You write “The Australian people have forgotten their government works in their interest.”
    I only wish it were so. Hasn’t been for a long, long time.

  11. Ian Edward Cleland

    Peter, I concur with your article and this is why I now pursue the direction I am currently on and like you I am very disillusioned by all that pervades the political landscape. I will even go further and add to that the total un-sustainability of our cities and towns.

    I am about creating sustainable urban communities and nodes of sustainability in our cities and towns. This will start with one development in Sydney and will spread over the next few years across the whole of Australia. This is not about me it is about us. How we can collectively create change that will positively effect all of us an open up possibilities we have not even thought of to date.

    We can do it

  12. corvus boreus

    Granted, there is the distinct possibility/probability/inevitability of a rapidly approaching cack-storm, energy, economic and biospheric.
    Personal planning must be flexible.
    Preparations for a worst case scenario(in this case sensible securing of basic survival resource) should be backed up with a plan B that accepts the possibility of averting it through remedial action(just in case we are wrong).
    Or vise-versa.

  13. Carol Taylor

    Ian on sustainability, renewable was not a mere coincidence that anything/anyone pertaining to *green* have been successfully portrayed as dole bludging ferals. When did caring about the environment morph into this type of characterisation? Around the greed is good Howard years and all done for only one reason – money.

  14. Carol Taylor

    Hotspringer, I was hopeful that somewhere, somehow that there might be one solitary voice on the government benches who might stand up and say – “No, this is wrong”. After all the Libs once did have people such as Petro Georgiou and Turnbull did cross the floor *once*. Sadly with our current government there is not even one lone voice in the wilderness of the Hockey/Credlin attempt at social restructure. (Note: I have deliberately omitted Tony Abbott as IMO he’s oblivious to it all and is fine as long as Credlin and her troupes are there to massage his ego).

  15. corvus boreus

    I think ever since media was first commercially backed there has been an imperative to demonise those who obstruct exploitive activities of by pointing out consequences. It has broadened and escalated the more media voice became representatives of the agenda of privateers.
    It has evolved over my life.
    At active blockades in the past, when media cameras documented, they would seek the viewpoint of the pierced dirty dread-dude smoking a durry, who would state his ‘luv ov naycha, treez’n’stuff’ and express a desire to ‘smash fashist pigs’, then stub out his cigarette on the ground and wander down to the creek for a piss. This bloke is an increasing minority in the active representation of environmentalism.
    The scope of the increased collective knowledge of our reliance as biological beings, on the context of varied life within the biosphere, and the increasing obviousness of the destabilising(destructively so) influence of humanity’s collective actions, have drastically expanded the scope of those requiring the assassination of both character and viewpoints. Serious science has entered the fray, and not, in the main, on the side of capitalist corporations.
    Thus we have the spectacle of people of proven untruth and documented adherence to absurd notions regarding the divine and miraculous, deriding clinical scientists as zealots.
    ‘I believe in papal infallibility, trans-substantiation(bread/flesh,blood/wine majicks), immaculate conception, and miraculous transcendence, and I believe the scientific viewpoint that we are biology in a biosphere, living in an existence defined by consequence of actions, is a cult of religion with an unsupportable standpoint of foundation’.
    The cries become shriller and more bitter because the irrational shriek of denial of the bleeding obvious by increasing the levels of viciousness and volume are staining the vocals and shredding the souls of those decrying falsehoods.
    May they suffer in themselves for their vindictive lies.

  16. mischmash1

    Very good summary of our heartless society indeed..After attending Hazel Hawkes Memorial at the Sydney Opera House I decided to walk through the city back to Central observe a city I grew up near..memories of my youth..It took me over two hours to reach central due to my natural response to stop and comfort the homeless sleeping cold on the hard footpaths, many of them, all ages, all walks of life. As I sat with each lovely human being I tried to cheer them but I noticed hundreds of fast moving bodies walking by without so much as a sideways glance at these sad souls. Everywhere you go you feel this sense of ‘I don’t care’..

  17. Carol Taylor

    Corvus, the type of bloke you described was only ever an extremely small minority..someone who usually turned up for the gig often clueless about issues but any gig is better than none at all. My experience consisting mostly as local government rep to the EPA and shire councilor (Dandenong Ranges foothills) was concerned residents who did not want their local environment trashed.

    However, these good folk were as you suggest portrayed as feral alternative life-stylers spending most of their time lolling about sponging off good working people aka the developers intent on putting the last remaining scrap of remnant bushland habitat under concrete and bitumen – that is, ferals local residents and concerned citizens versus progress greedy overseas based developers.

  18. corvus boreus

    Last time I stayed for a period in Sydney, I observed the aftermath of a collision between a vehicle and a human on foot.
    As paramedics confirmed the deceased condition of this man, the driver stood nearby calmly explaining on a mobile phone that he would be unavoidably late for his meeting. Crowding observers recorded proceedings on their own camera-phones. I did not feel a great affinity for my fellow humanity at that moment, bar the vignette of the corpse and his attendents.
    I rarely visit cities.

  19. Vince O'Grady

    What an enormously uplifting perspective to take. For us all to reconnect with each other and show respect and empaty. Thanks I enjoyed reading this.

  20. Maria

    You have it exactly right. Could not have said it better. I am still not giving up on labor though as that will feel like the last hope is gone. This current gov is so far gone to the dogs they are dangerous and should be gone asap. The religious are so much more cruel and believe they have their gods blessing. Well they will have nothing very soon with a big thank you to PUP.

  21. corvus boreus

    “I love a sunburned country, a land of open drains,
    suburban sprawl expanded, for cost-accounting gains.
    Broad, busy bulldozed acres, once wastes of ferns and trees,
    now rapidly enriching investors overseas.”

    Forget who wrote it, but it rang.

  22. trek79

    When we strengthen local communities and individuals, the nation and the world will invariably benefit, but when focus is on the higher levels then everything below it invariably suffers.

    One perspective I keep in mind is that knowledge is a tool, not an identity.

  23. Kaye Lee

    Corvus boreus,

    Dorothea inspired many of us. This was my attempt.

    The love of wealth and power,
    Of coal seam gas and mines,
    Of working without unions
    Or carbon output fines.
    Strong love of Gina Rinhehart,
    Murdoch and their IPA
    We recognise who’s talking
    When Tony has his say.

    Scourge of my heart, my country!
    Being sold for a pot of Gold,
    For flood and fire and famine,
    Will now increase threefold –
    Over the thirsty paddocks,
    Watch, after many days,
    The filmy veil of pollution
    That thickens as we gaze.

    Scourge of my heart, my country!
    Ignoring the experts cry
    When sick at heart, around us,
    We see the planet die –
    But rather than take action,
    So we can breathe again
    You conscript a Green Army,
    To fight the acid rain.

    I want a different Party
    With plans for our great nation
    Of educated children
    And no more discrimination
    Of NBN for everyone
    And helping those in need
    Care for the disabled
    And fighting against greed

    An open-hearted country,
    A welcome, caring land
    Where all can find safe haven
    And someone to understand
    Though life holds many setbacks,
    And troubles for us all,
    I want to know my government
    Will help us when we fall.

  24. corvus boreus

    An open-minded country,
    one not immune from facts,
    that shuns the rule of idiots,
    and thinks before it acts.

    Excellent poetry, Kaye Lee

  25. Dan Dark

    Geee you are multi talented Kaye, great poem 🙂

  26. Pingback: The Apathy of Our Species » Screaming With Brevity

  27. Lert

    Your words brought tears to my eyes. I didn’t think there were any other people out there that felt the same way as I do about the future and our species. I felt I was alone. Thank you for showing me that I wasn’t.

  28. Marilyn R

    Peter, thank you so much for expressing how I feel! I can’t trust either party any longer. None are doing the right thingl. Albanese was on 702 last week stating that Badgery’s Creek had had three full environmental assessments when he knows that the 1997 EIS saw the location dismissed as environmentally unsuitable. He also well knows this current EIS has been deliberately designed to hide the negative impacts on the people of Western Sydney. His electorate have a curfew, a cap and noise sharing and he supports building an airport in a location which cannot meet international safety standards and which will actually make people sick from air and noise pollution.

    No curfew, no cap and no flight sharing and definitely put flight paths all over our spectacular World Heritage Blue Mountains, or “forest” as he called it. Social injustice and environmental vandalism of the worst kind. Why? Because his own electorate is fed up with the noise, well let’s impose it on the clods of “westies”.

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