For those on the left it has been a depressing year; losing an election that was there for the taking. A disaster no one expected.
Those on the right rejoiced at their unexpected good fortune in the belief that it was the way things should be anyway.
And in but a few days we begin another year. The end of a decade. One in which, well politically speaking at least, our country has little to be proud of.
Earlier in the week I started writing about just how much baggage this government would carry with it from this year to the next but the weight of it got to me and I gave up.
I felt in the mood to give the conservatives a right and proper end of year serve. But it really wasn’t what I wanted to convey to the reader.
People of faith pray for outcomes in expectation that they will be answered (if they are not then it is God’s will) and I make no judgement on their purpose.
People of little or no faith live in a world where the word “hope” substitutes for prayer. That by action or persuasion we hope that things will become better, or at least improve.
However, as I write I’m not in the least bit confident that this will occur.
Then as my fingers labour over my thoughts, they turn to how little love there is in our politics and what I really want to convey to the reader are not thoughts of romantic love or erotic love but other loves within us all.
Let me explain.
Would it be a little too much to expect – even hope – that this government might show a little more compassion, even love toward the elderly, those who cannot find work, or those who simply need more?
Could the government we elected – headed by a man of faith who confesses that God is love – find it is his heart to do something about the lack of it shown to the asylum seekers left on Manus and Nauru? Don’t leave the heavy work to God all the time.
Will those Ministers who share his faith with him, who confess love as the central tenant of it, do more for the lost who walk our streets, those who hunger for food and love, or or lodgings?
Will those who confess that they walk in the shoes of Jesus and those who don’t, reconsider their decisions involving, climate change, ethics, education, morality, law, medicine, population, infrastructure, water, what we can grow and many other complex issues in the knowledge that the changes they legislate will have a lasting effect on our children and their children?
My fervent hope is that love, kindness and compassion is considered in their deliberations. May your God bless you in this?
I would also hope – as I’m sure you would pray – for far less lying by all politicians given that truth is one of the commandments unto all. That its restoration be hastily elevated to its former standing.
And so it goes for what we see on our televisions, the demonstrable hatred toward each other that you show in Question Time. Please eliminate it now, urgently.
What I ‘m trying to tell you is that a true democracy cannot exist without a love for all the things that it exists for.
Love is a democratic outcome of all the thoughts that humble us. Debate in our place of democracy is not of necessity about winning or taking down one’s opponent. It is an exchange of facts, ideas and principles. Or in its purist form it is simply the art of persuasion
By this I mean that love shames us when we seek to act without principles, but love honours dignity and mutual respect for our opponents.
Love softens hearts that want outrage, violence, bossing, bullying and sometimes love cannot be spoken, only shown
There is such a widespread disillusionment with how politics is practiced in our country that people feel powerless. That their vote means very little and they are not participants in our democracy. The absence of love one to the other eventually ends the way it has.
My thought for the day
Ask yourself this: Does the political culture we have make you feel good about your country? Is there not room for a little love?
Be generous with your praise and considerate with your criticism.
The art of logical reasoning and persuasion is wasted on those with enraged voice, eyes closed and ears blocked.
To those who think they can win a debate by being loud and crass I say, “be quiet.” To those who think they can win with a perceived superior intellect I say, “be humble.” Discourse requires civility in order to produce reasoned outcomes.
We have so much to learn from people we disagree with that it’s a wonder we don’t do it more often.
Having the ability to admit that you are wrong is an absolute prerequisite to discernment and knowledge.
Humility is the basis of all intellectual advancement. However, it is truth that that enables human progress.
In our humanity – the concoction of who we are – the most important ingredient is hope. Together with love they make the perfect recipe.
May I take this opportunity to wish all the readers of The AIM a thoughtful festive season? One that is full of hope, thought and love.
See you all in 2020.
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