Sustainable Development can only happen for societies when individuals can survive.
This time last year I believed it was impossible for me to survive well into this year in Australia.
I was wrong.
The key reason I have survived is kindness and intellectual engagement from some very decent people: Graeme, Justin, Eddy, Jarrod, Kelly and Shelly, the above words from John Wesley describe the best of the human spirit and I see this type of goodness again and again in you.
Meanwhile, Australia does not know how to relate to countries in the region.
Chinese President Xi Jinping, who was born this day 67 yeats ago, has said, “There are some bored foreigners, with full stomachs, who have nothing better to do than point fingers at us…” and “No one is in the position to dictate to the Chinese people what should and should not be done.”
In so many ways, people have to try harder to understand each other to know what is happening.
But again and again people refuse to even talk with each other.
And then pretend that the refusal was “good manners” or a matter of “safety”
In your maiden speech in the House Of Representatives you defined the nation which you now lead as “a free country.”
That freedom is now threatened from more than one direction.
The last time the world faced an economy in more trouble than we are in now, Franklin Delano Roosevelt said this to his nation: “……. the only thing we have to fear is fear itself — nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror which paralyzes needed efforts to convert retreat into advance.”
Roosevelt said this in an inaugural soeech in which he took the oath of office with his hand on the Bible open to the 13 verse chapter 1 Corintinans 13.
Among other things, this chapter says that love “rejoices in the truth” and “has no fear; it does not worry”.
The pestilence of Coronavirus is real. People are very scared.
But if the world hides from this danger too long, the cure will produce an economic catastrophe worse than the disease. Suicides. Starvation. Monumental stress, likely to lead, if uncontrolled, to violence, muder and even war.
It just isnt given to us mortal human beings on this beautiful planet to always have the perfect safety we crave.
Any promise of perfect safety is an illusion.
I prefer truth.
Thats what I love.
May God Bless you, Prime Minister, in the very challenging task of keeping people as safe as possible and keeping alive the economy which all those people need.
I pray they have the courage to help you convert retreat into advance.