Like many Australians, I’m not a huge fan of our latest budget. It attacks the areas that need the most financial support: education, healthcare, the elderly, the homeless, and students trying to get through uni. It’s far from ideal. And while its been a few weeks now since the budget was handed down, my newsfeed is still packed with people who are ready to lynch the PM and treasurer for brutal cost cutting and seemingly stupid investments (24 billion on planes for the RAAF?).
But, as frustrating as the budget is, and it will impact so many people in a harsh way, I’ve had a gut full of the whining. Enough! We can protest, we can wave our ‘injustice’ placards till the cows come home. But at the end of the day, I can’t help but be grateful that I live in a country that allows me that freedom. I can speak my mind, I can worship as I choose without fear of persecution. I am not denied basic rights. I live in a democracy. We have choices in our lives.
My mind goes to Syria, to Nigeria, to Ukraine, to North Korea where the kind of liberties we take for granted aren’t just denied to their citizens. The citizens of these countries are ruled by violence. They don’t have the opportunity to complain about their political rights or lack thereof for fear of being silenced permanently. I am so grateful I live in a country where women aren’t stoned to death or publicly hung for adultery. I’m grateful I live in a country where, as a female, I can apply for the same jobs as men and have the same rights.
Nearly 300 female students are kidnapped in a violent raid and held for a ransom in Nigeria and it barely cracked western news until around 2 weeks after the incident occurred. By the time the media informed us, many of these young girls had already been sold to much older men as child brides and sex slaves.
Imagine that a girl’s boarding school in America, Britain, Europe or Australia was raided and close to 300 students were kidnapped by militant ‘soldiers’ how quickly we would have responded- and how quickly it would have been ‘breaking news’. It wouldn’t have taken weeks for us to find out. Action would have been immediate.
Australian politics may be messy and our leaders may seem more interested in fighting each other than solving the issues that need to be resolved, but we aren’t living in a part of the world where daily car/suicide bombings occur. Where people are maimed and killed en mass and we look the other way. Where people languish in prison for being gay, for protesting, for daring to speak out, for refusing to conform to only one religion.
The budget stinks in so many ways. But I think it’s important to keep things in perspective. It could be so much worse.
How do you feel about the budget? Are you sick of the whining too?