Time was when an Australian could express an opposing opinion to a compatriot and that person would more than likely respond with something akin to this: “It ‘s a free country. You’re entitled to your view.”
Not any more.
Perhaps it’s because Australia hasn’t experienced a recession in twenty-six years that many of its people have seemingly become almost perpetual whingers. This is in spite of the average wage being around $AUD78,000 per annum. If they genuinely believe that this country isn’t for them anymore, I would like to see them live a better life in England where the wage is about the equivalent of $AUD33,000 and the cost of living comparable. It is no coincidence that 130,000 people have migrated here in the past three months. It’s not always how much one earns, but rather how much one saves and how these savings are invested.
I have also grown tiresome of hearing how much stress and pressure our children are under. Hello! Experiencing self doubt and anxiety isn’t new. My generation might recall that there were schools where pupils sometimes had to persevere in classes where a teacher(s) was sadistic and corporal punishment was the norm rather than the exception.
My younger sister and I attended a primary school that was sixteen miles distant. The school bus didn’t come to our door so we had to ride our bikes two miles to meet it. The fourteen miles was then covered in the back of a panel van which had no fixed seating and seat belts were unheard of. Each afternoon this had to be repeated, in the reverse order of course, whether it was the height of summer or the depths of winter.
Sometimes in winter there was so much rheum in our eyes that we could scarcely detect the dirt road in front of our bikes. There were no such things as helmets, so when the magpies were breeding we’d just lower our heads and pedal as speedily as we could.
When we would arrive home there was no such thing as electricity in our house. No flushing toilet, no such thing as a shower and, invariably, we would each receive just a kettle of tank water in which to bathe.
I won’t even begin to tell you what our father put us through.
Fifteen was the age when I first left school. By this time we lived in the city and my father wanted me to get a job and bring some money into the household. Conversely, my mother wanted me to remain at school. It was agreed that I should attempt to placate both of them and hence for sixteen months, five days per week, I would arise at seven in the morning and sleep from eleven o’clock, having arrived home from the aptly named night school.
Don’t tell me that today’s children experience a more stressful life than those of past generations. Perhaps, if our p0liticians and educators spent more time in attempting to raise our children’s ability to actually learn, rather than spend so much of it on ways in which to mollycoddle them, then our schools’ standards might rise and this nation’s educational standing might also rise to above twenty-fifth, where it is ranked globally.
Toughen up Australia, this country doesn’t owe you anything!