Sonia Kruger said it, we’re all afraid. There are really horrific, crappy things happening all over the world every day. Terrorism, domestic violence, brainwashing, racism, intolerance, animal cruelty, child neglect, elder abuse, sexism, Donald Trump. And so on.
She also said some other stuff that I’m not going to repeat here because it is not kind, not kind at all. And kind is what we need to be.
In fact I think, while we all wonder what it is that we can do to to stop the world being quite so fucked up, kindness is the answer. Everyone be really, really kindasyoucan kind. Surely what this world needs is not more hate, abuse, ego, selfishness, greed, intolerance or violence. I don’t mean we endorse and support or tolerate absolute proper fuckwits, but we have to make sure they are true fuckwits before we condemn them—i.e. they are really unkind themselves.
Waleed Aly said in his eloquent, passionate way that we should all practice forgiveness. He is right, I think, but in all honesty, I don’t think forgiveness is always possible. At least not for me. Some things are unforgivable. I don’t want to talk about what those things are.
I wonder whether actually it might be best to ignore the fuckwits. Mum used to tell me that if I reported unkindness in the school playground. “Just ignore them darling, it’s no use being unkind back”. I mean I know governments and armies can’t ignore terrible acts of violence, but really, the truly unkind mostly have their unkindness encouraged by attention. Media attention, public outrage, things gone viral—wouldn’t these just serve to fan the flames? Isn’t it what they want?
What I mean by ignore is, put our heads down, don’t look at them, look instead at how we can, in our own small way, make this world a better place. The average person in Australia is powerless to stop juggernauts like religion-based terrorism and Donald Trump, so instead of getting all fear-mongery and panic-stricken and fixated, aren’t our energies better focused elsewhere? Join that volunteer organisation, support that charity, mow someone’s lawn, start a compost heap, use less plastic, make people laugh, give compliments, call your family, wave to people, smile, look at the stars, make a bird bath… Don’t say nasty things. Don’t do nasty things. Don’t tailgate people. I bloody hate tailgating. An act of kindness doesn’t have to be huge, it just has to be something, as much and as often as you can. Maybe fuck the big issues, maybe there are smaller fish to fry. Such as:
SAVE A WOMBAT
My friends have started a local save-the-wombat program. The wombats in my district have a terrible mange problem, and it’s killing them. It’s an agonising death apparently, but treatable with a common animal drench. Many community members are pitching in to help. If we all worried too much about the big horrible picture, we wouldn’t give a stuff about the wombats and they would all suffer terribly. So this week, I chased a suffering wombat with a drench gun and shot it, all the way down its poor itchy back. And the world looked like a better place in light of the time I gave to another creature. Plus, I got some satisfaction from running through the shrubbery with a drench pack on my back. Very ghostbuster-like.
SUPPORT THE ARTS
I can’t help but take this opportunity to be a little bit smug about the fact that I am now officially a part time worker, at least for the next few months. I am thrilled about this. Partly because I have found gainful employment as a writer (with a desk and an important looking phone with flashing lights on it), which is something after all the nothings I’ve done over the years with my pens and paper, fingers and keys. But also because, in my role as writer for an arts festival program, I have been sitting amidst a group of people who are so dedicated to getting arts to the masses, so committed to making the world an inspiring, insightful, informative, thoughtful and entertaining place—a better place. They have their noses to the grindstone; they are looking at their own pictures, and those pictures are pretty fucking remarkable.
I am truly proud to be part of this team. The Ten Days On The Island team. Yay! Go the arts. They make the world better. Get amongst it.
Herbs are really easy to plant and look after. You don’t need much space, or even a garden. You can use pots. They look nice, they smell nice, they make you look like you might be a good cook. They make your food taste like you might be a good cook. You can pick them and put them in a vase like they do in Country Style Magazine, and you can send your children out to pick them for you and then feel proud that they know which herb is which. They will make you more wholesome. And you won’t have to buy all the plastic that goes with the fresh(ish) herbs in the supermarket. More YAYS.
Unkind fuckwits don’t ordinarily grow their own herbs. I wouldn’t think.
This is the most important. If you don’t laugh, you might as well not be here. If all laughter disappears then the unkind fuckwits have won and I wouldn’t particularly care. There were a few hours this afternoon when I didn’t laugh. The children fought in the car, a bastard in a white stationwagon tailgated me from Richmond to Primrose Sands, I forgot the dog food and had to turn back and face the god damn supermarket, one of the children popped a wheat pack and then blocked the sink with the wheat….those kind of things. And then I found this on facebook and I laughed for a good fifteen minutes. A proper belly laugh. And everything was okay again.
Hooray for funny people.
Be kind. Laugh. Don’t tailgate.